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Pioneer History of Meigs County 







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In 1876 a revival of interest in local history was manifest 
throughout the United States. The Centennial of the Na- 
tion — the Exposition at Philadelphia, exhibiting trophies of 
the Revolutionary period, while much attention was bestowed 
upon Colonial relics, and regard for Colonial ancestry. The 
older class of people had been retired from public observation, 
especially in the Western States of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and 
Michigan. The first settlers — the earlier emigrants — ^had 
braved the Indians, the wild beasts, the privations of a new 
country, had toiled to open up the primeval forests for culti- 
vation, and broken in health, dispirited often by adversity, 
they had grown old before their "three-score-years and ten,'* 
and the generation following them had been unwittingly push- 
ing them aside. They were in the way of modern progress, and 
they had retreated to the back rooms of their children's man- 
sions. But in 1876 it was seen that the country could not 
celebrate her Centenary without bringing into honorable rec- 
ognition the fathers and mothers, the soldiers and statesmen, 
whose achievements had wrought such evident prosperity for 
the country— such high rank among the Nations. So it came 
about that old records, old furniture, old tales of early days, 
old people tottering on their canes, were subjects of especial 

The Revolutionary soldier, old and gray, was escorted to a 
seat on the platform where jubilant oratory proclaimed his 
deeds of heroism. It was at this time that Stillman C. Larkin, 
Aaron Stivers, H, B. Smith and a few others, awakened to 
the fact that Meigs county had a past worthy of record, and 
in looking around discovered that the founders, the early 
emigrants, were gone ! Not a representative left of the days 
of St. Clair, of men who came into this part of the county be- 


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4 Pioneer History of Meigs County 

fore Ohio was admitted into the Union. They became im- 
pressed with a sense of duty toward those forefathers, and to 
retrieve as far as possible the neglect of previous years, they 
organized the Meigs County Pioneer Association — H. B. 
Smith, President; Aaron Stivers, Secretary; later Stillman C. 
Larkin, President. Mr. Larkin as a son of a pioneer, Abel 
Larkin, who had been active in the organization and develop- 
ment of the civil and moral interests of the new country, 
began collecting and placing in manuscript, everything 
available of the acts and actors of all legislative affairs in the 
new country. First, the sparsely settled lands were incor- 
porated in Washington county, and Marietta people were 
wise enough to keep a running account with Time, but Gallia 
county was taken out from Washington, and until 1819 all 
civil records were kept in Gallipolis, when Meigs county was 
taken out from Gallia county. 

Mr. Larkin began at the beginning, and wrote the Declara- 
tion of Independence, declared in 1776, which made the Cen- 
tennial of 1876 possible — he wrote out the Ordinance of 1787, 
that proclaimed freedom of the whole Northwest Territory of 
the Ohio river, from involuntary servitude of man for man. 
The first emigrants to Ohio — ^Washington, Gallia and Meigs, 
opened up the wilderness for cultivation, or the present gen- 
eration would not have broad acres in meadows, or hillsides in 
wheat, or blooming fruit-laden orchards. These first settlers 
built their cabins and schoolhouses, had teachers for their 
children; they organized townships, elected township officers 
and kept records of local affairs. 

For these men and these records Mr. Larkin had respect. 
It was no easy matter to collect and place in order the history 
of the first ten years of the settlements included later in the 
boundaries of Meigs county; for from 1798 to 1808, is an 
almost forgotten page, but the men who wrought for the 
good of coming generations — wrought wisely, intelligently, 
with broad views, and persistent effort to establish homes, 

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Pioneer History of Meigs County 6 

roads, schools and churches, to assist in framing wholesome 
laws, and enforcing them for the protection and well-being of 
a growing community, men like George W. Putnam, Fuller 
Elliott, Levi Stedman, Brewster Higley, Peter Grow, Hamilton 
Kerr, John Miles, William Parker, Abel Larkin and others, 
whose deeds and names belong to the annals of those years 
from 1792 to 1808. That makes true pioneer history. From 
1808 to 1818 the influx of emigrants increased rapidly. People 
seeking lands to found homes for their families, mechanics of 
all kinds, carpenters, blacksmiths, tanners and shoemakers, 
served for public utility and improvement. 

In 1819 Meigs county was set off from Gallia county, and 
assumed importance. A court house and jail were built in 
Chester, the county seat. Courts of Common Pleas were held 
judges were appointed, county officers were elected — auditor, 
treasurer, recorder, sheriff and clerk of the courts. Township 
officers were chosen — esquires and constables, clerk, treas- 
urer, assessor, trustees, school directors and supervisors. The 
discomforts of pioneer life had ceased. The people enjoyed 
comfortable homes, with growing families. From 1820 to 
1830, there was an inflow of newcomers, representing all pur- 
suits, civil and educational, lawyers, doctors, preachers and 
teachers. Farms changed owners, and new customs were 
introduced. The fertile Letart bottoms sent flatboats laden 
with produce annually on trips to the South, New Orleans 
being the final mart. The traders returning by keelboat or 
steamboat brought sugar and molasses, rice and coffee for the 
merchants and communities. 

Nial Nye, Sr., & Sons were established at the mouth of 
Kerr's run, before the county of Meigs was organized, and 
kept a store of general merchandise, ran a sawmill, and had a 
boat landing, "a port of entry" for goods consigned to Levi 
Stedman and others at Chester and the interior of the county. 
A postoffice was located here and the place was called Nyes- 
ville. From 1820 to 1830, while a growing prosperity was 

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6 Pioneer History of Meigs County 


seen throughout the county, no capitalist with means and 

energy had arrived to develop the natural resources of Meigs 
county. From 1830 to 1840 marked the beginning of com- 
mercial prosperity. Mr. V. B. Horton, with a wide personal 
influence, brought capital to operate on the development of 
the coal in the hills of Salisbury. He started the transporta- 
tion of coal by means of a steamboat, the Condor, towing 
immense fleets laden with coal down the Ohio river, and 
farther down the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico, from 
whence ships conveyed it to Boston, and grates in Boston 
parlors glowed with Pomeroy coal. This enterprise opened 
up boat building — ship builders from Maine and Nova Scotia 
came to work and direct the labor in the Horton boat yard. 
It gave employment to river men to manage the tow-boat 
Condor, and the barges. English and Welch men of ex- 
perience and judgment took charge of the mines, and miners 
from England, Wales and Germany went into the coal tunnels 
of Meigs county and with pick and hand-car brought to light 
the wealth of the hills. A rolling mill was set in operation, 
a foundry, machine shop, and Haven & Stackpole erected a 
three-story steam flouring mill. Pomeroy was laid out, lots 
sold, the town incorporated, and elegant residences were 
placed on the spurs of the hills at Naylor's run and Sugar run, 
while under the cliffs the Brothers Howe, Dr. Estes and the 
lawyer, U. G. Howe, Charles Pomeroy and Horace Horton 
built no less fine homes. Mr. Samuel Grant's sawmill had 
full orders, furnishing lumber as fast as possible. In this 
decade of stirring material prosperity, the little postoffice 
town of Graham's Station received an impetus. Mr. Lucius 
Cross came from Marietta in 1822 to lands of his own, and 
started a tannery, built flat boats to send hay to the South, 
opened a store of general merchandise, erected a mill on 
Bowman's run for making flour, and sawing lumber, giving 
employment to hundreds of men in these different enterprises. 
The name of Graham Station was changed to Racine. The 

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Pioneer History of Meigs County 7 

town of Sheffield sprang into existence in these times, broad 
acres just above the mouth of Leading creek were laid out in 
lots, the town incorporated and a cotton mill built by Mr. 
Philip Jones, a novel project for a non-cotton producing ter- 
ritory. The Grant brothers put into the business of steam 
a flouring mill that prospered for more than forty years. The 
one great event in Meigs county was the removal of the 
county seat from Chester and establishing the seat of justice 
in Pomeroy. 

The aim and intent of Mr. Larkin's book is to preserve a 
record of pioneer times, that later generations may have 
proper respect and pride in their forefathers. He was the 
prime mover in organizing the "Meigs County Pioneer As- 
sociation," and devoted time, thought and research in order 
to place correct statements concerning those early days in 
his book. 

We ask the "Pioneer Association of Meigs County" for a 
liberal patronage of the book, and of thinking men and 
women, who will find much to interest them in reading the 
work, and especially the favor of descendants of early settlers 
in Meigs county, who are scattered in other states and 

Emeline Larkin Bicknell, 
Reviser of the MSS. of S. C. Larkin. 

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Pioneer History of Meigs County 




When in the course of human events it becomes neces- 
sary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have 
connected them with another, and to assume among the 
powers of earth, the separate and equal station to which the 
laws of nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent 
respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should 
declare the causes which compel them to a separation. 

We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are 
created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with 
certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty 
and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, 
governments are instituted among men, deriving their just 
powers from the consent of the governed, and that whenever 
any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, 
it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it, and to 
institute new government, laying its foundations on such 
principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them 
shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. 

Prudence indeed, will dictate that governments long es- 
tablished should not be changed for light and transient causes, 
and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are 
more disposed to suffer while evils are sufferable, than to 
right themselves by abolishing the form to which they are 

But when a long train of abuses and usurpations pursuing 
invariably the same object, evinces a design to reduce them 
under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty to 
throw off such government, and provide new guards for their 
future security. 

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10 Pioneer History of Meigs County 

Such has been the patient sufferance of the colonies, and 
such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their 
former system of government. 

The history of the present king of Great Britain is a his- 
tory of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct 
object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over these 

To prove this let these facts be submitted to a candid 
world: He has refused his assent to pass laws the most* 
wholesome and necessary for the public good. He has for- 
bidden his governors to pass laws of immediate and pressing 
importance, unless suspended in their operation till his assent 
should be obtained, and when so suspended, he has utterly 
neglected to attend to them. He has refused to pass other 
laws for the accommodation of large districts of people unless 
those people would relinquish their right of representation 
in the legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable 
to tyrants only. He has called together legislative bodies at 
pleasure, unusual and uncomfortable and distant from the 
repository of their public records, for the sole purpose of 
fatiguing them into compliance with his measures. He has 
dissolved representative houses repeatedly for opposing with 
manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people. He 
has refused for a long time after such dissolutions, to cause 
others to be elected whereby the legislative powers incapable 
of annihilation have returned to the people for their exercise. 
The States remaining in the meantime exposed to all the 
dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within. 
He has endeavored to prevent the population of these states, 
for that purpose obstructing the laws for naturalization of 
foreigners, refusing to pass others to encourage their 
migration hither, and raising the conditions of new appro- 
priations of lands. He has obstructed the administration of 
justice by refusing his assent to laws for establishing judiciary 
powers. He has made judges dependent on his will alone 

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Pioneer History of Meigs County 11 

for the tenure of their offices and the amount and payment 
of their salaries. He has erected a multitude of new offices 
and sent hither swarms of officers to harass our people and 
eat out their substance. He kept among us in times of peace 
a standing army without the consent of our legislators. He 
has affected to render the military independent of and 
superior to the civil power. He has combined with others to 
subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our Constitution and 
unacknowledged by our laws, giving his assent to their acts 
of pretended legislation. 

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us ; for 
potecting them by a mock trial and punishment for any mur- 
ders which they should commit on the inhabitants of these 
states; for cutting off our trade with all parts of the world; 
for imposing taxes on us without our consent; for depriving 
us in many cases of the benefits of trial by jury; for trans- 
porting us beyond seas to be tried for pretended offenses; 
for abolishing the free system of English laws in a neighbor- 
ing province, establishing therein an arbitrary government 
and enlarging its boundaries, so as to render it at once an 
example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute 
rule into these colonies ; For taking away our charter, abolish- 
ing our most valuable laws and altering fundamentally the 
forms of our government; for suspending our own legfisla- 
tures and declaring themselves invested with power to legis- 
late for us in all cases whatsoever. He has abdicated govern- 
ment here by declaring us out of his protection and waging 
war against us. 

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burned our 
towns and destroyed the lives of our people. He is at this 
time transporting large armies of foreign mercenaries to com- 
plete the work of death, desolation and tyranny already begun 
with circumstances of cruelty and perfidy scarcely paralleled 
in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the head of 
a Christian nation. He has constrained our fellow citizens. 

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12 Pioneer History of Meigs County 

taken captive on the high seas to bear arms against their 
country, to become the executioners of their friends and 
brethren, or to fall themselves by their hands. 

He has excited domestic insurrection among us and has 
endeavored to bring the inhabitants of our frontiers under the 
merciless Indian savages, whose known rule of warfare is an 
undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions. 
In every stage of these oppressions we have petitioned for 
redress in the most humble terms. Our repeated petitions 
have been answered only by repeated injury. A prince whose 
character is thus marked by every act which may define a 
tyrant is unfit to be the ruler of a free people. 

Nor have we been wanting in attentions to our British 
brethren. We have warned them from time to time of the 
attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable 
jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circum- 
stances of our emigration and settlement here. We have ap- 
pealed to their native justice and magnanimity and we have 
conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow 
these usurpations which would inevitably interrupt our con- 
nections and correspondence. They, too, have been deaf to 
the voice of justice and consanguinity. We must, therefore, 
acquiesce in the necessity which denounces our separa- 
tion ; and hold them as we hold the rest of mankind, enemies 
in war; in peace, friends. We, therefore, representatives of 
the United States of America, in general Congress assembled, 
appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude 
of our intentions, do in the name and by the authority of the 
good people of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare 
that these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free 
and independent states. 

That they are absolved from all allegiance to the British 
crown, and that all poltical connection between them and the 
state of Great Britain is and ought to be totally dissolved; 
and that as free and independent states they have full power 

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Pioneer History of Meigs County 13 

to levy war, conclude peace, contract alliances, establish com- 
merce and to do all other acts and things which an inde- 
pendent state may of right do. 

And for the support of this declaration with a firm reliance 
on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge 
to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor, 
July fourth, seventeen hundred and seventy-six. John Han- 
cock, President. 

Signers Names. 

Georgia — Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, George Walton. 

New Hampshire — ^Josiah Bartlett, William Whipple, 
Matthew Thornton. 

Massachusetts Bay — Samuel Adams, John Adams, Robert 
Treat Paine, Elbridge Gerry. 

Rhode Island — Stephen Hopkins, William EUery. 

Connecticut — Roger Sherman, Samuel Huntington, William 
Williams, Oliver Wolcott. 

New York — ^William Floyd, Philip Livingstone, Francis 
Lewis, Lewis Morris. 

New Jersey — Richard Stockton, John Witherspoon, Francis 
Hopkinson, Abraham Clark and John Hart. 

Pennsylvania — Robert Morris, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin 
Franklin, John Morton, George Clymer, James Smith, John 
Hancock, George Taylor, James Wilson, George Ross. 

Delaware — Caesar Rodney, George Read, Thomas McKean. 

Maryland — Samuel Chase, William Paca, Thomas Stone, 
Charles Carroll, of Carrollton. 

Virginia — George Wythe, Richard Henry Lee, Thomas 
Jefferson, Benjamin Harrison, Thomas Nelson, Jr., Francis 
Lightfoot Lee, Carter Braxton. 

North Carolina — ^William Hooper, Joseph Hewes, John 

South Carolina — Edward Rutledge, Thomas Hayward, 
Thomas Lynch, Arthur Middleton. 

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14 Pioneer History of Meigs County 


(Extract from the History of the United States of America, by Timothy Pitkin, 

Vol 2. Pate 214.] 

In consequence of cessions the United States became pos- 
sessed of all the lands northwest of the Ohio, and the estab- 
lishment of a government for the inhabitants already settled, 
as well as others who might remove these, became necessary. 

(The Colonial Congress, then in session at New York.) 

This Congress, therefore, in July, 1787, established an Ordi- 
nance for the government of this territory. 

This Ordinance is the basis of the governments established 
by Congress in all the territories of the United States, and 
may be considered an anomaly in American legislation. The 
whole territory was under one district, subject to be divided 
into two, at the pleasure of Congress. 

With respect to the mode of governing the settlers in this 
territory or colony, the ordinance provided that until the 
number of free male inhabitants of full age in the district 
should amount to five thousand, the legislative, executive and 
judicial power should be vested in a governor and three 
judges, who, together with a secretary, were to be appointed 
by Congress. The governor was to remain in office three 
years and the judges during good behavior. The governor, 
with the judges were empowered to adopt and publish such 
laws of the original states, criminal and civil, as might be 
necessary, and best suited to the circumstances of the district, 
and report them to Congress; such laws to be in force until 
disapproved by that body. The governor was empowered to 
divide the district into counties or townships and to appoint 
all civil officers. As soon as the free, male inhabitants of full 
age and should amount to five thousand, a general assembly 
was to be constituted, to consist of the governor, a legislative 
council, and house of representatives. The representatives to 
be chosen from the counties or townships, one for every five 

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Pioneer History of Meigs County 15 

hundred free, white male inhabitants, until the number should 
amount to twenty-five, after that the number to be regulated 
by the legislature. A representative must have been a citizen 
of the United States for three years, and be a resident of the 
district, or have resided three years in the district, in either 
case to have the fee simple of two hundred acres of land in the 
district. An elector was to reside in the district, have a free- 
hold of fifty acres of land therein, and be a citizen of one of 
the states, or a like freehold and two years residence. The 
representatives to be chosen for two years. 

The legislative council was to consist of five persons, to 
continue five years in office, unless sooner removed by Con- 
gress, were chosen in the following manner : The house of 
representatives to nominate ten persons, each possessed of a 
freehold in five hundred acres of land; out of this number 
Congress was to appoint five to constitute the council. The 
general assembly had power to make laws for the govern- 
ment of the district not repugnant to the Ordinance. All laws 
to have the sanction of the majority of both houses, and the 
assent of the governor. The legislative assembly were author- 
ized by joint ballot to elect a delegate, who was to have a 
seat in Congress with the right of debating, but not of voting. 

It was necessary to establish certain principles as the basis 
of the laws, constitutions, and governments, which might be 
formed in the territory, as well as to provide for its future 
political connection with the American confederacy. Congress, 
therefore, at the same time established certain articles, which 
were to be considered as articles of compact between the 
original states and the people of the territory, and which were 
to remain unalterable unless by common consent. By these 
no person in the territory was ever to be molested on account 
of his mode of worship, or religious sentiments, and every 
person was entitled to the benefits of the writ of habeas 
corpus, trial by jury, and all those other fundamental rights 
usually inserted in American bills of rights. Schools, and the 

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16 Pioneer History of Meigs County 

means of education were forever to be encouraged, and the 
utmost good faith to be observed toward the Indians; par- 
ticularly their lands and property were never to be taken from 
them without their consent. 

The territory and the states to be formed therein were 
forever to remain a part of the American confederacy, but not 
less than three, nor more than five states, were to be estab- 

The bounds of these were fixed with liberty for Congress 
to alter them, by forming one or two new states in that part 
of the territory lying north of an east and west line drawn 
through the southern bend, or extreme of Lake Michigan. 
It was also provided that whenever in any of these states 
there should be sixty thousand free inhabitants, such state 
was to be admitted into the Union, on the same terms or 
footing of the original states in all respects whatever, and be 
at liberty to form a permanent constitution and government, 
such constitution and government was to be republican and 
conform to the principles of the articles. 

If consistent with the general interests of the confederacy 
such state, however, might be admitted into the Union with 
a less number than sixty thousand free inhabitants. By the 
sixth and last article it was provided there should be neither 
slavery nor involuntary servitude in the territory otherwise 
than in the punishment of crime, of which the party should 
have been duly convicted, and in consequence of this lastwise 
and salutary provision the evil of slavery has been prevented 
in all the new states formed out of this territory northwest of 
the river Ohio." 

Note. — Mr. Dana of Massachusetts is said to be the author of the 
sixth article. 

P. S. — ^When this ordinance was being framed in New York City, 
the Constitutional Convention was preparing a Constitution for the 
Nation in Philadelphia. 

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Pioneer History of Meigs County 17 


The Ohio Land Company originated with the disbanded 
officers of the Revolutionary army, while a large portion of 
the stockholders were citizens at large. This company was 
organized in Boston early in the year 1787. The purchase 
from Congress consisted of a million and a half acres of land 
by negotiations made by Rev. Manassah Cutler, in 1787. The 
State of Ohio was admitted into the Union in 1802, and com- 
prised that portion of the Northwest Territory on its eastern 
boundary, extending from the Ohio river on the south to the 
shores of Lake Erie on the north, comprising seventeen million 
five hundred thousand acres of very fine land. The lands of 
the Ohio Company's purchase were located in the southern 
part of the state bordering on the Ohio river. 

These lands were surveyed by men appointed by the Presi- 
dent, George Washington, of whom were General Tupper, 
General Meigs, General Israel Putnam, Colonel Ebenezer 
Sproat, John Matthews, and others. These surveyors divided 
the lands into townships containing six square miles, and these 
townships were sub-divided into ranges, and further surveyed 
into sections of 640 acres. Townships, ranges, and sections 
were numbered, as were 100-acre lots, which sold to pur- 
chasers. In every township, three sections are reserved for 
Congress, Ministerial and school purposes. The boundaries 
of these lands were permanent, thus, when any county or 
township or road refers to certain points — ^Township 2, Range 
11, Section 6 — it has reference to the surveys of the Ohio 
Company's purchase. 

Meigs County. 

Meigs county was formed in June, 1819, and was composed 
of territory set off from Gallia county, Athens county, and 
Washington county, and contained the following townships : 

From Gallia County. — Letart township, organized in 1803; 
Salisbury township, organized in 1805; Rutland township. 

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Pioneer History of Meigs County 

organized in 1812; Lebanon township, organized in 1813; 
Salem township, organized in 1814; Sutton township, organ- 
ized 1814. 

From Athens County. — Orange township, set off in 1813; 
Olive township, set off in 1819; Scipio township, set off in 
1819; Columbia township, set off in 1820; Bedford, including 
Chester, township, set off in 1821. 


Lebanon Township. 

Caleb Price 
David Pickens 
Simeon Lawrence 
George Warth 
George Commins 
William Pickens 
John Flesher 
Jacob Regor 
James Giles 
Lucinda Flesher 
John Hall 
Thomas Flinn 
John Smith 
Charles Shipman 
Abraham Knapp 
Ziba Lindley, Jr. 
Edward Anderson 
Ziba Lindley 
Stephen K. Miller 
Andrew Anderson 
-John Sissle 

Thomas Lloyd 
Robert Pickens 
David Dailey 
Jacob BufBngton 
Aaron Lasley 
William Smith 
William Barringer 
Elias Browning 
Joseph Buffington 
David Sleath 
Edward Sims 
Lawrence Jenks 
John Brown 
Samuel M. Jackson 
Hugh Brown 
Catharine Alford 
Philip Lauck 
William Lauck 
Levi T. Gandy 
John Hanshaw 
Solomon Smith 

Letart Township. 

John H. Sayre 
Samuel A. Deviney 
Benjamin Warner 
Isaac Taylor 

Baltzer Roush 
Adam Harpold 
Michael Roush 
Henry Roush, Jr. 

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Pioneer History of Meigs County 


Molly Roller 
David Wheelbarger 
Elizabeth Wolf 
Thomas Vail 
John Linscott 
Michael Darst 
Peter Wolf 
George Hrell 
Anthony Roush 
Henry Roush 
Edward McDade 
Ephraim Sayre 
David C. Sayre 
John Waggoner 
Ezra Chapman 
George Burns 
David B. Sayre 
John Sayre 
Job Powell 
Burton Bradford 
John Hayman 
James Hayman 
John S. White 
William Alexander 
John Boudinot 
Thomas Love 
Moses Sayre 
Lydia Slack 
Reubin Smith 

Levi Osborn 
Moses Goodfellow 
Peter R. Goodfellow 
John McElroy 
Samuel Clark 
Niece Pickens 
Milby German 
Jacob Scott 
John Deviney 
Thomas Sayre 
Elizabeth Deviney 
William Smith 
Calvin Martin 
Jacob Crowser 
Robert Sayre 
Spencer Hayman 
Jedediah Darby 
Theopholus Ketchan 
Elijah Bebee 
Joseph Bebee 
Abraham Kingree 
William A. Boyce 
Jonathan Evens 
Robert Hester 
Shadrack Rice 
John Smith 
Haviland Chase 
Daniel Lovett 
John Smith 

Sutton Township. 

John Pickens 
George Ingals 
Joseph Ingals 
Aaron Thompson 
Peter Wolf 
William Kerr 
Thomas Batey 
John H. Hayman 
Samuel Pickens 
Jacob Wolf 
Thomas Ashworth 

James Ashworth 
Isaac Foster 
David Ashworth 
Jacob Salser 
Stephen Partlow 
Robert Baird 
Loftus Pullins 
John Pullins 
Michael Will 
George Schibelair 
John Ralph 


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Pioneer History of Meigs County 

Aaron Torrence 
Simeon Elliott 
Randall Stivers 
James Pickens 
Erastus Gelson 
James McCormick 
Cornelius Roush 
Frances Hughs 
John Hussey 
William Radford 
Jasper Branch 
Wyman Hardy 
Ezra Bemass 
John R. Smith 
Thompson Pickens 
Jacob Aumiller 
David Young 
Asa Johnston 
Benjamin Noyes 
Jonathan Seelye 
Edward Ward 
George Roush 
Mary White 
Henry Wolf 
Lyman Parker 
Seth Jones 
Fuller Elliott 
Thomas Reding 
John Wolf 
Peter Lallance 
George Wolf 
Michael Circle 
Sylvanus Ripley 
Andrew Donley 
John Quickie 
Luther Donilson 
Gabriel Walling 
John Rose 
John Frank 

Thomas Smith 
David Hudson 
Anson Sole 
Joel Hull 
Stephen Root 
Samuel Grant 
David Curtis 
David Cooper 
Peter Masten 
William Kimes 
Solomon Wolf 
Thomas Wigger 
Samuel Westfall 
Sarah Gilmore 
William Watkins 
Jacob McBride 
Philip Watkins 
James Blairs 
Nathaniel Prentice 
Lewis Chase 
Richard Haden 
Royal Burch 
Michael Nease 
Mary Burrell 
Rogger McBride 
Mary Dunbar 
Adam Houdeshell 
James Dixon 
Michael Peltz 
Philemon Warner 
John Warner 
Robert C. Barton 
Nicholas Weaver 
Charlotte Scott 
Fenn Robinson 
Hezekiah Sims 
David Stewart 
Jeremiah Shumway 

Township boundaries were made anew, or within the limits 
of the older townships. Letart township originally extended 

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Pioneer History of Meigs County 21 

from the mouth of Shade river to the mouth of Kerr's run and 
out of its territory the townships of Lebanon and Sutton were 

Salisbury township originally embraced territory as far 
north as Ross county, but such portions of the township as 
were within the boundaries of Meigs county were divided into 
Rutland township, Salem township, and a township remaining 
Salisbury. Deeds of land are recorded according to the 
nomenclature of the Ohio Company's surveys. 

Ohio, having been admitted into the Union in 1802, it fol- 
lowed that a constitutional convention should be called to 
prepare a constitution for the new state, therefore, electors, or 
delegates, were elected according to the regulations given by 
the Congress of the United States, and according to the 
Ordinance of 1787, for the Northwest Territory, eliminating 
only one claim of that ordinance, viz: the property qualifica- 
tions from the counties within its boundaries. 

The Constitutional Convention was composed of thirty-five 
members. Washington county was entitled to four dele- 
gates, as follows : Rufus Putnam, Ephraim Cutler, Benjamin 
Ives Oilman, and John Mclntyre. This convention assembled 
at Chillicothe, November 1st, 1802, and adjourned November 
29th, 1802. That assembly formed Gallia county by a law 
that was to come in force April 30th, 1803, by a division of 
Washington county, with specified boundaries, but it was 
bounded on the west by Scioto county until 1816. Athens 
county was formed March 1st, 1805, and was bounded on the 
south by Gallia county until January 7th, 1807. The boundary 
of the south of Athens county was changed to take a portion 
on which Chester is located, from Gallia, and add it to Athens 
county, where it remained until the formation of Meigs county, 
April 1st, 1819. 

An act of legislature authorizing associate judges to divide 
the counties into townships was made May 10th, 1803. In ac- 

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22 Pioneer History of Meigs County 

cordance therewith Gallia county was divided into three town- 
ships — Gallipolis, Kerr's, and Letart. 

The same act of the legislature authorized the associate 
judges to appoint justices of the peace for each of the aforesaid 
townships. Robert Saiford and George W. Putnam were ap- 
pointed for Gallipolis township. In Letart township an elec- 
tion of justice of the peace was to be held in the house of 
Henry Roush — one justice of the peace for Letart township. 
For Kerr's township one justice of the peace was to be elected, 
and the election to be held in the house of William Robinson. 
Another act of the legislature creating a board of county 
commissioners came into force March 1st, 1804. The commis- 
sioners aforesaid on the 11th of June, 1805, proceeded to re- 
divide the county of Gallia into townships, recognizing the 
boundaries of Letart, but abolishing that of Kerr's, and forming 
a new township by the name of Salisbury and establishing its 
boundaries as follows: Beginning on the Ohio river in the 
Thirteenth range of townships at the southeast corner of 100- 
acre lot No. 376 ; thence west with the south line of said lot to 
the southwest corner of the same ; thence north to the south- 
east corner of Section No. 10, in Range No. 14, of Township 
No. 5; thence west to the line between the Fourteenth and 
Fifteenth ranges; thence north to the northwest corner of 
Township No. 5, in the Fourteenth range ; thence west to the 
county line; thence north to the northwest corner of the 
county; thence east until it intersects the line between Kerr's 
and Letart; thence with the same to the Ohio river; thence 
down to the place of beginning. 

The first election for township officers for Salisbury town- 
ship was held in the house of Brewster Higley, Esq., July 27th, 

Trustees Elected. — Hamilton Kerr, James G. Phelps, Felix 

Overseers of the Poor. — ^John Niswonger, William Parker. 

Fence Viewers. — Samuel Denny, David Thomas. 

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Pioneer History of Meigs County 23 

Appraisers of Houses and Listers. — William Parker, Jr., 
Benjamin Smith. 

Supervisors of Highways. — William Green, Abijah Hubbell, 
John Niswonger. 

Constables. — ^James Smith, Jared Strong. 

Treasurer. — ^Joel Higley, Jr. 

Clerk. — Abel Larkin. 

In accordance with the above order, John Niswonger and 
Horatio Strong were elected justices of the peace for Salisbury 
township, July 27th, 1805. 

The names of the first settlers in territory included in Meigs 
county and the dates of their arrival, as follows : 

James Smith, from Marietta, 1797; Levi Chapman, 1787; 
Thomas L. Halsey, 1792; Hamilton Kerr, 1797; Nicholas 
Brown, 1796; Joseph Russell, 1792; James Smith, 1797; 
William Russell, 1792; Brewster Higley, 1799; John Case, a 
surveyor, 1799; Levi Stedman, 1798; Peter Grow, 1798; Peter 
Shaw, 1792; Ezra Chapman, 1799; Shubael Burris, 1796; Wil- 
liam Bradford, 1792; William Browning, 1795; Joshua Chap- 
man, 1799; William Barton, 1792; George Warth, 1798; Peter- 
Lalance, 1798; Fuller Elliot, agent for O. L. C. P., 1792; 
Livingston Smith, 1800; Josiah Rice, 1800; Samuel Denny, 
1800; Thomas Everton, 1800; Jeremiah Riggs, 1800; Leonard 
Hedrick, 1800; George Ackley, 1800; Thomas Rairdon, 1800; 
William Coleman, 1800; John Miles, 1801 ; Captain James Mer- 
rill, 1801; Timothy Dexter, 1801; William Parker, St., 1802; 
Thomas Shepherd, 1802; Alshire Brothers, Conrad, Michael, 
and Peter, 1802; Joel Higley, 1803; Daniel Rathburn, 1803; 
Jabez Benedict, 1803; William Johnson; James E. Phelps, 
1803; Caleb Gardner, 1803; Thomas Alexander, 1803; Elias 
Hall, 1803; William Buffington; Abel Larkin, 1804; Truman 
Hecox, 1804; Alvin Ogden, 1804; Shubael Nobles, 1804; 
Rev. Eli Stedman, 1804; Samuel Branch, 1804; Timothy Smith, 

1805 ; Frederic Hysell, 1805 ; Bing, 1805 ; Luke Brine, 

1805 ; Fuller Elliott, located in 1805 ; Jacob Wolf, 1805 ; Jere- 

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24 Pioneer History of Meigs County 

miah Fogg, 1806; Aaron Holt, 1807; James and John Forrest, 
1807; Thomas Gaston, 1807; Joel Cowdery, 1807; Henry 
Roush, 1808; Jacob Cowdery, 1808; Squire Bullock, 1808; 
Philip Buffington, 1808; Aaron Torrence, 1809; John Euts- 
minger, 1787; Josiah and Joseph Vining, 1810; Alexander 
Warth, 1810; John Hall, 1811 ; Richard Cook, 1811 ; Seth Jones, 
1812; Adam Harpold, 1812; Augustine Webster, 1812; William 
Skinner, 1810; Samuel Everett, son-in-law of Ham. Kerr, 1812; 
John, Erastus, and Nathaniel Williams, 1812; Joseph Town- 
send, 1812; Dr. Philip Lauck, 1813; Andrew Anderson, 1814; 
Jedediah Darby, 1814; John Hayman, 1810; Peter Pilchard, 

The electors for Governor of Ohio, 1805, in Salisbury town- 
ship, were the following: 

John Hilverson, James E. Phelps, John Niswonger, Elam 
Higley, William Sparks, Brewster Higley, Daniel Strong, 
Caleb Gardner, Cornelius Thomas, John Miles, William Green, 
Nimrod Hysell, Stephen Strong, Jared Strong, William Barker, 
Daniel Rathburn, Samuel Denny, Hamilton Kerr, Thomas 
Shephard, Benjamin Williams, Horatio Strong, Joel Higley, 
1st, James Smith, William Spencer, Joel Higley, Jr., Abel 
Larkin, Samuel Ervin, Felix Benedict. 

The state elections for Governors and state officers were 
held on the second Tuesday in October, 1802, and until Novem- 
ber, 1886, when, by a constitutional provision, the time was 
altered to conform to the time of holding elections for the 
Presidents of the United States. 

Three road districts were made in Salisbury township in 

1806 and the following supervisors elected, namely : 

First District: Benjamin Smith, supervisor. He made re- 
turns for work done in 1806 to the trustees in 1807. 

Second District: Daniel Rathburn, supervisor. He made 
returns for work done in 1806 to the trustees m 1807. 

Third District: John Miles, supervisor. Returns made in 

1807 for work done in 1806. The work on the highways was 

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Pioneer History of Meigs County 25 

to pay a road tax. By a law of 1804 every male person over 
18 years of age and under 50 years of age was liable yearly 
and every year to do three days work on the public roads. The 
trustees of Salisbury township levied a tax to be worked out 
at sixty-two and one-half cents a day. 

Rutland township was organized in 1812, being formed out 
of territory embraced by Salisbury township, Gallia county, 
and consisted of Township 6, Range 14, of the Ohio Company's 
purchase. This Township 6 was divided by the original land 
company into thirty-six square miles, or sections of 640 acres 
each, commencing to number them at the southeast corner, 
running north. Three sections were secured to Congress, 
namely: Nos. 8, 11, and 26. For ministerial purposes No. 29, 
and for school purposes No. 16, making in all five sections. 
Nine sections near the center of the township were cut up 
into fractions of 262 acres each, as follows: Nos. 9, 10, 14, 15, 
20, 21, 22, 27, 28. leaving twenty-two whole sections and 
twenty-two fractions for the company. The fractions in Rut- 
land township are numbered so as to correspond with the 
sections belonging to the company, Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 12, 
13, 17, 18, 19, 23, 24, 25, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36. Six sections 
were added after the formation of Meigs county, April 1st, 
1819, and are an important addition to Rutland township. 
Among the pioneers who settled on this tier of sections were 
Joel Higley, Jr., James E. Phelp, Daniel Rathburn, and Benja- 
min Williams, all from Granby, Connecticut, in 1803. 

In looking back to the days when Salisbury township ex- 
tended from Kerr's run westward to Ross county, we have 
introduced a list of some supervisors of roads, and after giving 
names, dates and returns, find it interesting to describe the 
boundaries of one or two road districts, viz, of Daniel Rath- 
burn, Second district, ordered to do work, beginning at 
Widow Case's, down to the Butternut rock, when he thought 
most proper, this being highway tax for the year 1806: 

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26 Pioneer History of Meigs County 

Daniel Rathburn, $2.15 ; Joel Higley, $1.95 ; Brewster Higley, 
$2.65; Abel Larkin, $1.15; Luke Brine, 85 cents; Joel Higley, 
Jr., $1.45; James E. Phelps, $2.05; Shubael Nobles, $1.05; Es- 
quire Bullock, $1.35; Eli Stedman, $1.15; Benjamin Williams, 
75 cents; Elam Higley, 75 cents; Jesse Fleshman, $1.55; Jesse 
Carpenter, 85 cents; Edward Faller, $1.65; Moses Russell, 
$1.85; Martin Roup, $1.65; William Sparks, 95 cents; William 

Campbell, 85 cents; Nicholas Sins, $1.55; Stillwell, 

$1.55; Amos Carpenter, 75 cents. 

Joel Higley, 
James E. Phelps, 
October 15th, 1806. Trustees. 

John Miles, supervisor of the Third road district in Salisbury 
township, highway taxes for the year 1806, the district be- 
ginning at the Widow Case's, up the road to the 7-mile tree: 
William Spencer, 95 cents; Abijah Hubbell, $1.35; John< 
Miles, $1.55; Caleb Gardner, $1.65; Erastus Stow, $1.15; Wil- 
liam Parker, Jr., $1.55; Thomas Shepherd, $1.35; Thomas 
Everton, 85 cents; Felix Benedict, $1.15. 

William Parker, 
James E. Phelps, 
Joel Higley, Jr., 


The Widow Case mentioned in the boundaries of the Second 
and Third road districts lived where the late lamented Virgil 
C. Smith afterwards lived. Mrs. Case was his maternal grand- 
mother, who subsequently married Abijah Hubbel, Sr. She 
was the widow of John Case, mentioned, also, in the account 
of the settlement of Brewster Higley. Mr. Case had gone 
back to Vermont, and in company with his friend and neigh- 
bor, Noah Smith, started for Ohio. Mr. Case had a young 
wife, and Mr. Smith had a wife and three or four daughters, 
and son 3^ years old. After journeying on the road from 
Philadelphia as far as Carlisle, in Cumberland county, Noah 

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Pioneer History of Meigs County 27 

Smith suddenly died. His family went on with Mr. Case until 
reaching a little town West Liberty, the county seat of Ohio 
county, West Virginia, where John Case suddenly died, and 
where Mrs. Case gave birth to a daughter — her first child, who 
was named Eliza. As soon as these conditions were known 
by Brewster Higley he went to their relief and brought them 
all to Leading creek. Mrs. Smith settled on land bought of 
Samuel Denny, on the west side of the creek, and Mrs. Case 
settled on the east side of the same stream, and nearly opposite 
Mrs. Smith. There she brought up her daughter, Eliza, and 
the Smith family were reared, so in the later years Livingston 
Smith and Eliza Case were married, reared a respectable 
family, and died, after living to a good old age. 

The Butternut rock is on the west side of Leading creek, 
half a mile above the mouth of Thomas fork. The 7-mile tree 
is thought to be on the road up Leading creek on the road 
traveled to Scioto salt furnaces, but the exact place is un- 
known — probably about Langsville. 


The first settlement made in Rutland township was by 
Brewster Higley, in April, 1799, on the farm since occupied 
by his son, Milo Higley. Judge Higley was a native of Sims- 
bury, Connecticut, but came from Castleton, Rutland county, 
Vermont, to Bellville, West Virginia, where he remained 18 
months, preparatory to his removal to Ohio. He bought a 
share in the Ohio Company's purchase for one thousand dol- 
lars. He then, in company with John Case, who had been one 
of a party of surveyors, and was of some service to Mr. Higley 
in making his selection of land, as he was to have a part of the 
land, made a visit to the place of his future home. He returned 
to Bellville, purchased a family boat and floated down the Ohio 
river to the mouth of Leading creek, which being high with 
back water, he poled his boat up the stream as far as the place 

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28 Pioneer History of Meigs County 

known as Jacobs' upper salt works. Here he tore his boat to 
pieces and built a shanty for his family to live in until he could 
build a house on his land. The first shanty made for his boys 
and John Case to live in while clearing the land was made of 
bark and sticks and stood near the ground afterwards used as a 
family graveyard. 

Brewster Higley was a Revolutionary soldier and had served 
as justice of the peace in the state of Vermont. General 
Arthur St. Clair, Governor of the Northwest Territory, ap-^ 
pointed Brewster Higley as one of the justices of the peace for 
the county of Washington, the commission bearing date 
Diecember 28th, 1801, done at Chillicothe. This commission 
and one to Fuller Elliot, of Letart, are probably the only ones 
for justices appointed under the territorial government for 
the people living in what is now Meigs county. Mr. Higley 
was one of the first associate judges of Gallia county and 
served for a number of years. He was elected justice of the 
peace in Rutland township, and in 1815 was made the second 
postmaster of Rutland and held the office for several years. 
He died June 20th, 1847, at the ripe old age of 88 years 3 
months and 6 days. His wife, Naomi Higley, died February 
4th, 1850, aged 89 years, one month and 3 days. 

The children of Brewster Higley and his wife, Naomi Higley, 
were four sons and three daughters. 

The sons were : Brewster Higley, Jr., who married Acksah 

Cyrus Higley married Electa Bingham, daughter of Judge 
Alvin Bingham, of Athens. One son, Julius Bicknell Higley. 

Lucius Higley married Nancy Shepherd. Lucius Milton 
Higley married Miss Morton. Milo Higley married Miss 

Joseph L. Higley married Emily Reed. 

Harriet Higley was married to Alvin Bingham, Jr., son of 
Judge Bingham, of Athens. 

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Pioneer History of Meigs County 29 

Theresa Higley was married to Josiah Simpson. 

Susan Higley, the eldest child, never married, but lived with 
her parents until her decease. 

In 1800 Samuel Denny came from Massachusetts and bought 
a tract of land, and built a cabin on it. This was near the 
Livingston Smith farm. He also helped to erect the first 
school house, and taught the first school in the winter 1801, 
also in 1802. The school consisted of nine scholars, four of 
whom came from near the mouth of Leading creek. The roll 
recorded the names of James Smith, John Smith, Sarah Kerr, 
Christina Niswonger, and five scholars from Judge Higley's 
family. In 1803 Samuel Denny built the first grist mill on 
Leading creek, which stood close to the residence of Jabez 
Hubbell. Mr. Denny delivered the first oration ever delivered 
here, at a Fourth of July celebration in 1806. The speaker 
stood on the top of an ancient mound not far from the Case 
house. Mr. Denny left Ohio in 1810, returned to Massa- 
chusetts, and married, and died there. 


In 1803 Joel Higley and his wife, Eunice Higley (nee 
Haskins) came from Granby, Connecticut (Lieutenant Higley 
he was called), and settled on the south tier of sections, in 
what was afterward included in Rutland township. There 
were twenty-eight persons in this company with Joel Higley. 

Joel Higley, 1st, had a numerous and prolific family. The 
daughter, Rachel, married Williams, and remained in Con- 
necticut. She was born in 1800. 

Joel Higley, Jr., (called Major Higley) settled in the same 
neighborhood with his father. He was born July 31st, 1764, 
and married Cynthia Phelps, May 25th, 1785. She was a 
§ister of James E. Phelps. Mr. Higley died April 26th, 1823, 
and his wife died January 5th, 1832. 

Of this union there were three sons and five daughters. 
Polly Higley married Philip Jones in May, 1806. They lived 

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30 Pioneer History of Meigs County 

on a farm where Middleport is now situated. Philip Jones 
died May 30th, 1866, aged 80 years. 

Elihu Higley was born November 26th, 1788. He served in 
the Army of the Northwest in the War of 1812. He married 
Nancy Cook in December, 1815, moved to his farm in Rutland 
in December, 1816. They had one child, Clarissa Fidelia — 
married Martin Fox. Mr. Higley died April 23d, 1877, aged 
89 years. 

Laura Higley, born August 20th, 1795. She was married 
to Daniel C. Rathburn in 1812, in Rutland, O., moved to Indi- 
ana, died there in August, 1884, aged 91 years. 

Sally Higley; born March 8th, 1795, was married to Daniel 
McNaughton, DgcTp^^grj 1816, and 'died September 29th, 1845, 
aged 50 years. Harlow McNaughton, a son, was captain of 
the Seventh Ohio Battery in the Civil war for the Union. 

Cynthia Higley, born February 7th, 1797, and never mar- 
ried. She died August ^b, 1819, aged 22 years. 

Maria Higley, born July ,30th, 1799, and married Willis 
Knight, and died February 28th, 1834, aged 35 years. 

Joel Phelps Higley was born June 9th, 1802, married 
Catherine Wise, and died October 23d, 1836, aged 34. A son. 
Captain Joel P. Higley, fell in fighting for the Union in 1863. 

Laurinda Higley was married to Earl P. Archer and died 
September, 1855, aged 90 years. She was the mother of a large 
family. Marinda Archer, Henry, Sophia, Benjamin, Elam, 
and Abiah Archer, who married Benjamin Whitlock, their 
children were Hiram, Electa, Levi, Harriet, Eunice. 

Eunice Higley married Silas Knight, known as "Deacon 
Knight," in 1812 and came to Rutland in 1812. They were 
highly respected. They had a numerous family — two sons 
and six daughters. Mr. Knight and his wife, Eunice, both 
died the same day and were buried in the same grave, July 
31st, 1839, aged 67 years and 63 years, respectively. 

Electa Higley was born in 1778, and came to Rutland with 
her parents, and afterwards married Benjamin Williams. She 

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Pioneer History of Meigs County 31 

was a remarkable woman, intelligent, energetic, with resource- 
ful disposition to be adapted to pioneer conditions. She 
taught school in her own house, cut and made men's best 
clothes, and cared for a flower garden that was the pride of 
Rutland for many years. She had two children, a daughter, 
born February 21st, 1811, married Rev. James Mitchell, went 
to Illinois in 1855, and died February 3d, 1881. Mrs. Electa 
Williams died at her daughter's in Illinois, in 1865, aged 87 
years. - Her husband died July 26th, 1873. The son, Benjamin 
Selah Williams, was born November 18th, 1808, and married 
Elizabeth L. Brown, of Athens county, and lived on the home- 
stead farm where he was born until his death, February 17th, 
1891, aged 82 years, 3 months. Mrs. Williams was born July 
2d, 1811, and died February 14th, 1897, aged 85 years, 7 
months, 12 days. They had a numerous family of sons and 
daughters, but they, except two children, James and Mary, left 
Ohio for the West. 

Sophia Higley was married to Asa Stearns, a Free Will 
Baptist preacher, finally settled in Mercer county, Ohio, where 
they both died. They had four children, Rufus, Amos, Louise, 
and Joel. 

Elam Higley was a soldier in the War of 1812 and served 
under General Harrison in the Army of the Northwest. He 
married Sally Clarke, and settled on a farm in the northeast 
corner of /Rutland township. They had one child, Austin 
Higley, who went to Iowa about 1876, and died there. 

An incident in the life of Elam Higley is worth relating. 
After his enlistment, when about to leave home, his mother 
gave him a Bible with directions to put it in a side pocket of 
his coat, already made for its reception. When in the Maumee 
country they had a skirmish with the enemy, and a bullet 
fired by an Indian, aimed at Elam's heart, struck that Bible 
but did not pass through, thus his life was preserved. His 
comrades said, "Elam thought himself badly wounded, but the 
ball was found in the Bible, and he was not hurt." 

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32 Pioneer History of Meigs County 

Hamilton Kerr was born in Philadelphia in 1764. He was 
a noted Indian scout of great daring, courage and strength. 
He married Susannah Niswonger, a highly educated young 
woman, and daughter of Colonel John Niswonger. Mr. Kerr 
came to his land below the mouth of Leading creek, on the 
Ohio river, in 1797, and was an active, useful citizen, as seen 
in reports of all civil proceedings of Salisbury township. Of 
their children, William Kerr married Jane Murray and settled 
on a farm on the west side of Thomas fork, just above the 
mouth, where he died March 27th, 1883, aged 86 years. 

Sarah Kerr was married to Samuel Everett, and lived near 
the mouth of Story's run; later moved to the northern part 
of Ohio. 

Margaret Kerr was married to Hamilton Kerr, a distant 

After the death of Hamilton Kerr in 1821 the estate was 
settled by Colonel Everett, the administrator, and Mrs. Kerr, 
the widow, and her daughter, Sophia, moved to the north 
part of the state, probably Wyandot county. 

Colonel John Niswonger was of German extraction and 
early in life was from near Winchester, Virginia. He enlisted 
December 29th, 1776, to serve during the war; served as a 
sergeant in Captain John Leman's company. Thirteenth Vir- 
ginia regiment, commanded successively by Colonel John 
Gibson, Revolutionary war, and appears on the muster roll, 
October, November, and December, 1779, at Fort Pitt, and 
February 13th, 1780, on which he is reported as being at Fort 
Henry. Colonel John Niswonger was one of the heroes of 
the battle of Point Pleasant. He settled on land near the 
mouth of Leading creek, with his son-in-law, Hamilton Kerr, 
in 1798, and was an important factor in the civil arrangements 
for the government of Salisbury township, afterwards in- 
cluded in Rutland township, Meigs county. His tombstone 
was found in the tearing down of an old building, where 

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Pioneer History of Meigs County 33 

it had been used as a hearthstone. It had this plain inscription : 
"Sacred to the memory of Colonel John Niswonger, who de- 
parted this life July 13th, 1821, aged 78 years and 4 months." 
No person now living can find the place of his grave. 

Peter Niswonger was a comrade of George Warth in the 
hunting trips of the years 1811 to 1814, when Mr. Niswonger 
had a still-house for making whisky and peach brandy, built 
by a spring of excellent water, on Lot 182, Ohio Company's 
purchase, afterward owned by Nehemiah Bicknell. The 
spring was always called the "still-house spring." His name, 
in connection with that of Elias Nesselrode, is used in an 
account of an elk discovered crossing the Ohio river below 
Sandy creek, by Andrew Anderson, who, being on the Ohio 
side of the river, saw Niswonger and Nesselrode pushing a 
canoe laden with salt upstream to whom he called "to head 
off the elk," which had reached their side so near that they 
threw a log chain at his horns, which so enraged him that he 
capsized their canoe with the men and the salt and escaped to 
the woods of Virginia. 

LETTER, 1882. 

"During the Indian war there came to the stockade in 
Marietta a family named George Warth, his wife and two 
daughters and five sons, namely: John, George, Robert, 
Martin, and Alexander. They came from Virginia, brought 
up in the woods and were all fine hunters. John and George 
were employed as rangers, or spies for Fort Harmar. The 
family lived in a log house on the first bottom between the 
river and the garrison built by the United States troops for the 
artificers to work in. George Warth married Ruth Fleehart, 
and John Warth married Sally Fleehart, sisters to Joshua Flee- 
hart, and Robert Warth married a daughter of a French widow 

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34 Pioneer History of Meigs County 

named Lallance, who came from France with two children, a 
son and this daughter, and who were in the stockade at the time 
when Robert Warth was killed by the Indians. He left a young 
widow and one child, Robert Warth, afterwards a noted 
merchant of Gallipolis. The family were illiterate, but pos- 
sessed keen, clear intellectual faculties, which were improved 
in later years by whatever opportunities were afforded for 

Mr. Paul Fearing taught John Warth the rudiments of his 
education, which he cultivated so that at the close of Indian 
hostilities, having settled on lands in West Virginia, Jackson 
county, long known as Warth's bottom, he filled several offices 
for the government and was a magistrate for a number of 
years. He was also the owner of slaves. Greorge Warth 
owned a piece of land in Meigs county, on the Ohio river, 
opposite the present town of Ravenswood, West Virginia. 
He, with his brother John, carried the first mails from Mari- 
etta to Gallipolis, in canoes. They went armed with rifles, 
carried provisions for their journey, traveling chiefly at night 
to avoid Indian encounters. George Warth was a hunter of 
wild animals, his g^reatest success during life. He had a 
family of sons and daughters — ^Robert Warth and Alexander 
Warth, Clara, Sally, Hannah, Rebecca, Rachel, and Drusilla.. 
He lived and died in his cabin on the banks of the Ohio, a 
poor man in what the world calls wealth, yet all of the hero 
is due to his name, for brave and fearless protection of the 
helpless in times of peril. 

The son, Robert Warth, married Mary Johnson, and lived as 
a farmer in Jackson county, West Virginia, and died in 

Alexander Warth was a boatman, married in Louisville, 
Kentucky, and after the death of his parents, within two weeks 
of each other, his sisters, Sally, Rachel, and Drusilla, moved to 

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Pioneer History of Meigs County 85 

Rebecca Warth was married to Daniel Lovett, a river man, 
and they moved to Kentucky. 

Hannah Warth was married to Bartholomew Fleming and 
lived and died in Ravenswood. Mr. Fleming bought the 
placed owned by Mr. George Warth, valued chiefly for the 
landing and ferrying opportunities. 

Clara Warth was unmarried — died and is buried by the side 
of her mother in the Pioneer graveyard in Great Bend, Meigs 
county, Ohio." 



He was the son of Elisha Benedict, and his wife, Jerusha 
Starr Benedict, and was born May 13th, 1767. He, with his 
father, Elisha Benedict, were living at Cooperstown, New 
York, when in October, 1780, they were taken prisoners by 
the British and Indians, then taken to Canada where they 
were kept prisoners for two and a half years. He married 
Clarissa Hubbell, daughter of Jabez and Sarah Hubbell, of 
Otsego county. New York, and coming to Ohio, settled on a 
farm near where the village of Rutland is now. He was an 
active and influential citizen, prominent in every interest for 
the promotion of civil, educational or religious advancement 
for the moral good of the neighborhood in which he spent his 
long life. He died October 29th, 1828. Mrs. Benedict died 
July 9th, 1849. Their children : 

Sarah, bom October 25th, 1788, married John Dixon, died 
September 29th, 1835. 

Polly, died young. 

Euretta, bom March 18th, 1793. She was married in 1821 
to Cornelius Merrill. She died December 12th, 1880. They 
had six children, Mary, Robert, Luther, Harriet, Clarissa, and 

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36 Pioneer History of Meigs County 

Elisha Hubbell Benedict, born September ISth, 1795. He 
married Maria Simpson, and they lived in Rutland township 
several years, but removed to Kansas in 1856, where Mrs. 
Benedict died. They had six children — Lydia Ann, Claretta, 
Sarah A., Elisha C, Walter. Elisha C. enlisted in Company 
D, Ninth Regiment, Kansas Volunteer Cavalry, and died at 
Fort Scott, Kansas, September 13th, 1862. 

Walter F., born July 28th, 1845, enlisted in Company D, 
Ninth Kansas Regiment, Volunteer Infantry, served during 
the Civil war and participated in fifteen engagements. 

Harriet, born December 15th, 1797, and married November 
8th, 1829, to Benjamin Savage, and died November 9th, 1861. 

Felix Starr, born May 3d, 1806, and died August 13th, 1824. 

William Spencer, born November 28th, 1808, and died June 
16th, 1833. 


He was a son of Felix Benedict and wife, Clarissa, and was 
born October 13, 1802, and removed with his parents to Lead- 
ing Creek, Ohio, October 13, 1803. He married April 4th, 
1833, Miriam Chase, daughter of John and Miriam Chase, of 
Athens county, Ohio. Their children were four — Clarissa, 
born May 7th, 1835; William S., died young; John Merrill 
Benedict, born September 17th, 1839. He enlisted in the 
Eightenth Ohio Volunteer Infantry as a private and was pro- 
moted to lieutenant colonel, served four years in the Civil 
war, was wounded twice at Nashville, but recovered, and was 
brevetted colonel at the close of the war. He married Octo- 
ber 18th, 1882, to Miss Bettie Rife, of Morgantown, West 

George W. Benedict, son of Jabez Benedict and wife, was 
born July 21st, 1843. He served three years in the Eighteenth 
Ohio Volunteer Infantry, was married March 4th, 1878, to 
Florence Grimes, a daughter of James Grimes, of Rutland, 

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Pioneer History of Meigs County 37 

Jabez Benedict died January 28th, 1886. He was noted for 
his fondness for reading, and with a retentive memory he was 
familiar with the best authors of his time, and of the Holy 

Thomas Everton came from Canada in 1800, and settled on 
a farm near the mouth of Leading creek. He was a member 
of the Regular Baptist Church and was called, familiarly, 
"Deacon Everton," and died on his farm in Rutland township. 
There were eight children: Betsy, Mrs. Benjamin Richard- 
son; Ebenezer Everton; Relief, Mrs. Edwards; Thomas 
Everton, Jr.; Polly, Mrs. Stone; Nancy, Mrs. Jesse W. 
Stevens; Benjamin Everton; Sally, Mrs. Charles Richardson. 


He came to what is now called Pagetown, in 1800, and 
married Miss Rachel Keller. They had a large family: 
William James, Frank, Jeremiah, Jr., George, Elias, Jackson 
Perry, and three daughters, Rebecca, Nancy and Polly. There 
is no date of the death of Jeremiah Riggs or his wife. Several 
of the sons moved to some western states; the daughter, 
Nancy, never married. Rebecca was married twice, and lived 
and died in the Hocking Valley. Polly was married to Martin 
Dye, of Pagetown, for his second wife ; left a widow she died 
at the home of her niece, Mrs. John Crary, in Lebanon town- 
ship, October 13th, 1895. She was the last one of Jeremiah 
Riggs family. 


John Miles came from Rutland, Worcester county, 
Massachusetts, to Cooperstown, N. Y., where he married 
Chloe Jervis. They came to Belpre, Washington county, 
Ohio, in 1798, where they remained three years. In 1801 they 
came to Leading Creek, being the second family in what was 

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38 Pioneer History of Meigs County 

afterwards Rutland township. He bought a share in the Ohio 
Company's Purchase for ninety-six pounds, sterling, and 
settled on the farm where he died on November 10th, 1847, 
aged eighty years. Chloe Jarvis Miles died September 21st, 
1844. They had seven children. Benjamin Lanson Miles 
went to Arkansas, had a cotton plantation, some slaves ; lived 
and died there in 1839. He was twice married, but left one 
son, James B. Miles. 

Mary Miles was never married. She died in Rutland, April 
9th, 1857, aged sixty-four years. 

Barzillai Hosmer Miles was a preacher of the Christian 
denomination. He married Amy Guthrie, who died leaving 
two daughters. As a preacher he was successful, traveled 
some and died of cholera in 1832, while on his way home from 

John B. Miles married Mary Johnson and owned a farm in 
Rutland township, where they lived many years. They had 
a family of sons and daughters. He died in Racine in 1864, 
aged sixty-eight years. Mrs. Mary Miles died in Racine, Ohio. 

Columbus Miles, son of John and Mary Miles, married 
Elizabeth Hopkins; was in the marble business at Gallipolis 
and died there. 

Benjamin Harrison Miles, a preacher, and a soldier in the 
Civil war, but died later. John Wesley Miles, a marble dealer 
in Gallipolis. Adaline Miles was married to Waid Cross, a 
merchant in Racine, Ohio. They had a family of sons and 
daughters. Mrs. Cross died in 1905. 

Sally C. Miles was born November Sth, 1803, being the first 
female born in the township, afterwards Rutland. She was 
married to Russell Cook, lived on a farm in Rutland. They 
had a large family of sons and daughters. She died in 1857, 
aged fifty-four years. 

Joseph Jarvis Miles was born October 19th, 1807. He mar- 
ried Sarah Cutler Larkin in 1841. They had children but all 
died in infancy. He was a tanner by trade, carried on the 

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Pioneer History of Meigs County 99 

business in Gallipolis for a number of years, and later in the 
same business in Pomeroy. He died July 27th, 1855. 

Electa Miles, the youngest child of John and Chloe Miles 
was born August 20th, 1812, and was married to John 
McQuigg, and lived many years on the "Miles Homestead/* 
They had two children — George McQuigg and Frances. She 
died January 10th, 1906, aged ninety-four years, loved and 
esteemed by all. 

George McQuigg was born November 25th, 1830. He was 
married twice, first to Miss Caroline Smithy who was the 
mother of two children, Lucy M., who died young, and John 
McQuigg, connected with the Pomeroy National Bank. Miss 
Kate Edwards was the second wife of Mr. McQuigg. They 
had three children — Charles, in the salt business as a successor 
to his father; Anna, married to Mr. Follett, of Kansas, and 
Emma McQuigg. George McQuigg was a man of affairs, a 
fine business man, clean in his political actions, genial, affable, 
always winning the favor of the best citizens.. He was gen- 
eral agent of the Ohio Salt Company from 1868 to the time 
of his death, October 29th, 1892; aged sixty-one years, ten 
months and twenty-eight days. 

Captain James Merrill was a sea-faring man and com- 
manded vessels in the East India trade for Mr. Dexter, a 
wealthy shipowner and merchant prince. After years of 
service in Mr. Dexter's employ he quitted the sea and came 
to Ohio in 1801, settling on a farm in Salem township given 
to him by Mr. Dexter, but removed to a farm in Rutland 
township in later years. Capt. Merrill built the first frame 
house in what is now Meigs county. The weather-boards 
were of wild cherry, sawed with a whipsaw. He had con- 
ducted to the ocean one of the first ships built at Marietta. He 
was a religious man, highly respected. He died in Rutland, 
October 29th, 1826. 

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40 Pioneer History of Meigs County 


William Parker, Sr., was born at Maiden, Massachusetts, 
June 5th, 1745, and was married to Mary Warner, January 
28th, 1772. She was the daughter of Philemon Warner, of 
Gloucester, Massachusetts, and was born in 1753. He was a 
cabinet maker and exported furniture to the West Indies. 
He bought a share of land in the Ohio Company's Purchase, 
and left the East in 1789, traveling as far as the forks of the 
Youghiogheny, where he remained until about 1800; he re- 
moved his family to his farm in Salem township, where they 
lived and reared a large family. Their children were: 

Elizabeth Warner, born September 21st, 1773, and died 
January 19th, 1850, aged seventy-seven years. She was never 
married and died in Salem. 

William, Jr., was born July 4th, 1775, and married Betsy 
Wyatt, May 13th, 1802. She was a daughter of Deacon 
Joshua Wyatt. 

Sally, born June 6th, 1777, and was married to Judge 
Ephriam Cutler, April 13th, 1808. She died June 30th, 1846. 

John, born June 20th, 1779, and married Lucy Cotton. He 
was a Halcyon preacher and died in 1849. 

Daniel was born August 7th, 1781, and married Priscilla 
Melloy Ring, October 24th, 1816. He was a preacher of Uni- 
versal Restoration. He died March 22d, 1861. His wife died 
September 4th, 1874. 

Polly, born May 27th, 1783, and was married to Judge 
Cushing Shaw. They both lived and died in Salem, leaving a 
numerous and worthy family of children. 

Nancy, born March 13th, 1785, was married to Stephen 
Strong, Esq. Mr. Strong was an early advocate of temper- 
ance. He was elected to the legislature for one term, was a 
surveyor and held many county offices. They had no children ; 
lived and died in Salem. 

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Pioneer History of Meigs G)unty 41 

Susanna, born March 10th, 1787, was married to Dr. Syl- 
vanus Evarts, and died July Sth, 1815, aged twenty-eight 

Fanny, born March 26th, 1789, and was married to John 
Fordyce and had several children. They were farmers and 
lived and died in Salem. 

Ebenezer was born December 22d, 1792, and married Mary 
Swett, daughter of Benjamin Swett, of Newburyport, Mass. 

Ebenezer Parker lived in the old homestead for many years, 
but sold out and finally removed to Cincinnati to live with his 
sons, where he died. 

Clarissa, born May, 1795, and was married to Peter Shaw. 
She died May 24th, 1817, aged twenty-two years. 

Mr. William Parker, Sr., died November 26th, 1825, and 
his wife, Mrs. Parker, died February 25th, 1811. They were 
both members of the Presbyterian Church, lived useful and 
honorable lives, leaving an exemplary record to their de- 

The Aleshire brothers, Conrad, Michael and Peter, came as 
emigrants from the Shenandoah Valley, Virginia, to Ohio, in 
1802, and settled first near the mouth of Kiger creek, until 
1805, when Michael came to Leading creek and bought a 
farm, but afterwards moved to Salem, where he died in 1845. 
Conrad Aleshire came to Leading creek, settled on a farm; 
had a son, Abram, who came with him from Virginia, who 
was born in 1784, and who had two children, Anna and Pres- 
ton Aleshire. Conrad Aleshire died in 1842, aged eighty-nine 
years. Abram Aleshire died in 1865. Peter Aleshire was a 
regular Baptist preacher and lived in Salem township. 

Thomas Shepherd moved to Leading creek in 1802 and set- 
tled on Fraction No. 19, or the Denny lot. He was from 
Maryland, but married Polly McFarland in Kentucky. She 

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42 Pioneer History of Meigs County 

was the daughter of Mr. McFarland, and who was in the 
Block House in Marietta at the time of the massacre by the 
Indians of the settlement twelve miles up the Muskingum. 
In the alarm occasioned by that event the defense of the 
Block House was left very weak, and Polly McFarland, a girl 
of sixteen, was given a g^n and stationed at a porthole. Mr. 
McFarland moved to Kentucky, where Polly was married to 
Thomas Shepherd. Interesting stories are related of her 
courage in meeting emergencies. One night when Mr. Shep- 
herd had gone to Gallipolis for ammunition, a large bear en- 
tered a calf pen not far from the house, and in trying to carry it 
off the calf bawled, which wakened Mrs. Shepherd, who went 
out, drove the bear off and up a tree, under which she built a 
fire and kept it there until morning. It is said of her that an- 
other time she was going after the cows in the woods when 
the dogs treed a raccoon. She sent a boy after an ax, cut down 
the tree, caught the raccoon, tanned the hide and made herself 
a pair of shoes. 

They had three sons and several daughters. The sons were 
Charles, Daniel and Thomas. The daughters were, Polly, 
married to Andrew Long; Nancy, married to Lucius Hig^ey 
(see Higley family) ; Sally, married to Mr. Shaw ; Jane, Mrs. 
John Savage; Betsy, Mrs. James Caldwell; Annie; Peggie, 
Clarissa, Mrs. Backus ; Almira, Mrs. Aaron Smith. 

Mr. Shepherd's name appears as a voter for the first election 
for Governor of Ohio ; also on the supervisors tax list for 1806, 
and he was one of the first trustees of Rutland township in 
1812. He was born in 1772 and died in 1842. 

Caleb Gardner came from the State of New York and 
settled in Rutland in 1803. He was a man of good business 
abilities, and served the township in various ofiicial capacities 
with credit to himself and satisfaction to the public. He died 
November 23d, 1823, aged fifty-nine years. 

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Pioneer History of Meigs County 43 

Joshua Gardner was a son of Caleb Gardner, and was born 
January Sth, 1793, in Connecticut, and came to Ohio with his 
father. He also served as constable and other civil offices. 
He was one of a company who went overland to California in 
1849. Returning to Rutland after two years he closed his life 
in March, 1862, aged seventy-six years and two months. 

James E. Phelps came from Connecticut in 1803, and settled 
in the lower part of Rutland township. He married Phylenda 
Rice, a sister of Mrs. Daniel Rathburn. Mr. Phelps was an 
enterprising farmer, filled several township offices, and went 
to Columbus as a lobby member to get the county of Meigs 
set off. He was one of the first associate judges of Meigs 
county. He died in June, 1822. His children: James, who 
studied medicine, went South and died there; Nancy Phelps 
was married to William Bing, of Gallia county; Harlow 
Phelps married Amelia Watkins, and lived in the old home- 
stead; Abel Phelps was a physician, practiced his profession 
in the lower part of Pomeroy, and died there. He was mar- 
ried twice. His first wife was Ruth Simpson. After her death 
he married Amy Smith. 

John Orlando Phelps was also a doctor and practiced medi- 
cine in Piketon, Ohio ; afterwards went South and died there. 
Amelia Phelps was married to Dr. Eli Sigler, who had a con- 
siderable practice. They lived near her old home. Dr. Sigler 
was one of the associate judges at one time of Meigs county. 
He died May 1st, 1848, aged fifty-three years, ten months and 
twenty-seven days. He was married twice; his second wife 
was Barbara Rothgeb, who died April 2d, 1891, aged eighty- 
two years, two months and four days. 

Amanda Phelps died in early womanhood. 


Daniel Rathburn was born in 1767 in Granby, Connecticut, 
and married Desire Rice, born in 1764, in Connecticut. They 
came with their family to Leading creek in 1803, and estab- 

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4:4 Pioneer History of Meigs County 

lished their home, where itinerant Methodist preachers had 
regular appointments. The names of Jacob Young, David 
Young, William Young, James Quinn, James Gilruth, and 
John P. Kent, and others who found a cordial welcome. Mr. 
and Mrs. Rathburn were leading and influential citizens in 
those early times. They had a family of sons — no daughters. 
Mr. Daniel Rathburn, Sr., died in 1852, aged eighty-five years, 
six months. Mrs. Rathburn died in 1868, aged ninety-eight 
years, ten months, three days. 

The children were Daniel C. Rathburn, who married Laura 
Higley, had a farm in Rutland, was justice of the peace, and 
taught school. They had a numerous family of sons and 
daughters. He died September 25th, 1855, aged fifty-nine 

Elisha Rathburn was married to Polly Giles, September 23d, 
1819. He came with his father to Ohio and settled on a farm 
near the village of Rutland. He was highly respected by the 
community and favorably known as a preacher in the Baptist 
or Christian denomination. His gifts and graces, zeal and 
charity were shown in a remarkable degree through a long 
and useful life. 

Elisha Rathburn was born June 30th, 1789, and died August 
8th, 1869. Mrs. Rathburn was born April 13th, 1799, and died 
February 7th, 1896, aged ninety-one years. They had a family 
of one son, Joseph Newton, and five daughters, Clarissa, 
Elizabeth, and Roana (Mrs. Seth Paine), and two daughters 
who died in early womanhood. 

Two sons of J. Newton Rathburn, Milton Rathburn and 
Charles, are successful merchants, and prominent citizens of 
Meigs county, Milton Rathburn being elected Senator from 
this district, for state legislature, 1906. They were born and 
brought up in Rutland township. 

Timothy Rathburn, a son of Daniel Rathburn and his wife. 
Desire Rathburn, married a Miss Daniel, of Gallia county, and 

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Fourth Generation from Daniel Sayre. 

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Pioneer History of Meigs County 45 

lived on a part of the old homestead. They had several 

Alvin Rathburn was a physician and practiced medicine in 
Rutland. He was married and had three sons. William P. 
Rathburn, a banker, removed to Chattanooga, Tennessee, 
where he was successful in accumulating a large property by 
investments in iron and coal. He died in Chattanooga. 

Joseph Rathburn, son of Alvin, was a physician, as was his 
brother, James Rathburn, who removed to Gallia county, 
where he died. 

John Rathburn, a son of Daniel Rathburn, Sr., was a doctor, 
but died young. :■' \ 

Francis Asbury Ral^Bjirn'^ was the sixth son of Daniel 
Rathburn, Sr., and llis wife.* He was* born March 9th, 1800. 
He was never married but lived with his parents, caring for 
them with filial devotion in their old age. After the death 
of his father in 1852 hle moved into the village with his mother, 
where she died in 1863, .He continued to live in Rutland until 
his death, an exemplary man, respected by all who knew him. 

Samuel Rathburn was the youngest son of Daniel Rathburn, 
Sr., and his wife. Desire Rathburn, and was born in 1802. He 
married a Miss Vanden, of Gallipolis, engaging in the mercan- 
tile business in that city. He held several offices of public 
trust, was probate judge of Gallia county, and maintained an 
honorable character, a highly respected citizen, until his death. 


An account of hunting adventures, as described by Mr. John 
Warth and reported by Mr. Silas Jones, who was a member 
of Mr. Warth's family in 1832. He says that Mr. Warth never 
tired of entertaining his guests with narratives of perils and 
adventures in his early life, and Mr. Jones reports, as near as 
possible, in the actor's own words. 

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46 Pioneer History of Meigs County 

"In the time of great peril, when it was not safe to look out 
of the fort, and our brother Robert had been shot while 
chopping a log near the fort, it became necessary to procure 
some meat for the families in the fort. Thinking the Ohio 
bottoms less liable to be infested with Indians, George and I 
stole out of the fort at night, and paddled noiselessly down 
the river to a point opposite Blannerhasset island, where we 
hid our canoe in the willows. As soon as it was light we 
started in different directions to hunt for deer. I had not 
gone half a mile when I saw two tall savages coming in the 
direction I was going. I squatted in the high pea vines and 
thick undergrowth that covered the ground while they passed 
by near me but did not see me. However, they soon dis- 
covered my trail, which they followed back to the canoe, 
which I supposed they would watch until the owner would 
come. My great concern now was the safety of my brother 
George, as he not being aware of the presence of the Indians 
would return to the canoe and fall a prey to them. Then I 
decided on a plan to save George, which was to proceed to a 
point out of sight of the Indians, hide my gun, swim across 
the river, then swim to the island and watch for George's 
return. This plan I fully carried out. Along in the afternoon 
I heard the report of my brother's gun after which my anxiety 
amounted to agony — minutes seemed hours. At length I saw 
George coming out of the woods with the carcass of a deer 
on his back. He looked up and down the shore, when I 
got his attention and by signs and gestures got him to take 
in the situation. We both regained the fort without further 
trouble. When the danger was over I went with a party and 
recovered my gun and the canoe. 

"Another time George and I went out in search of game, 
and were separated some distance, when I heard the report of 
his gun, after which I heard cries of distress coming from 
George. I ran to him with all the possible speed of my Kmbs, 
and found him pinned to tHe earth by a large elk. I was so 

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Pioneer History of Meigs County 47 

exhausted that I could not draw the bead, so I ran up and 
thrust the muzzle of my rifle against the animal's ribs and 
fired, when he fell dead at my feet. My brother was not much 
hurt, the horns of the elk had not penetrated through the 
ample folds of his hunting shirt, which held him to the 
ground. (The hunter's shirt was made sufficiently large so 
that he could stow a week's provisions above the belt.) 
George had fired on the elk, only wounding him, and so en- 
raging the beast that he turned on the hunter and compelled 
George to take refuge in a high upturned root where he fought 
with his clubbed rifle till he had nothing left but the bent 
barrel, when the maddened elk finally dislodged him, with the 
above result. Our capture was a valuable one, but did not 
compensate for George's g^n." 

An Encounter With Wolves at Shade River. 

George Warth and Peter Niswonger took their rifles and 
went out for a hunt. After traveling some time they came to 
a ridge that ran to near the mouth of Shade river, when Warth 
said to Niswonger, "You go on the bottom on one side of 
the ridge and I will take the other side and will come together 
at the end of the ridge on the bank of Shade river." They 
started thus, but Niswonger got out of the way, and came 
out above the second ridge. Warth went directly to the river 
end of the ridge — ^there sat seven to ten wolves. They showed 
no alarm at his approach, the largest walked toward him, the 
others following. He shot the foremost one, and it fell dead. 
He reloaded his rifle as soon as he could, for the wolves 
indicated fight. Then he went into the river until the water 
was up to his hips, and the wolves went in after him. He shot 
the foremost one through the shoulder and he went back to 
the water's edge and sat down and looked at him. He de- 
fended himself with his empty rifle, broke the stock in many 
pieces, and then fought them with the empty barrel. He had 
the advantage of being in the water deep enough to swim the 

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48 Pioneer History of Meigs County 

wolves, and he pounded them until they retreated to the edge 
of the water and sat down on their haunches and looked at 
him. He dared not go out of the water as he might not be 
able to fight if they followed him. Soon Niswonger came on 
the shore opposite the wolves and Warth crossed over to him 
and told him "not to shoot — ^we will call it a draw game, 
neither party whipped." He would not let Niswonger shoot 
lest they might be attacked. The hunters returned to their 
homes on Oldtown creek, and next day increased their force 
and went back to the place of the battle and found two dead 
wolves but no live ones. (Sketch by Mr. Silas Jones.) 

Black bears were numerous in these parts of southern Ohio 
in the first years of the nineteenth century. Henry Roush, of 
Letart township, related an incident of his encounter with 
bears. He said : "I was going out to bring in the cows, and 
contrary to my usual custom did not take my rifle with me, 
and while passing along the rear of my neighbor's field of 
corn I saw two young bears helping themselves to roasting 
ears. I succeeded in capturing one of them, which began to 
squall at a furious rate, which brought the mother bear rush- 
ing upon me with great fury. I had to drop my prize and 
run for a high fence which was near, with the angry bear at 
my heels. After gaining the top of the fence, I seized a 
stake and beat off my assailants." 

Elk were seen, but not in great numbers. Wolves were 
numerous and very troublesome. It was as common to hear 
the howl of a wolf in the twilight of an evening as it was to 
hear the crowing of a cock in the morning. They would 
answer each other from hill to hill when gathering their pack 
for the depredations upon the settler's sheep or young cattle. 
In 1827 a party of road viewers were cutting out a road from 
Chester, the county seat of Meigs county, to Sterling Bottom, 
on the Ohio river, and at a certain point lay out a road from 
this to Oldtown. The viewers were Nehemiah Bicknell, 
Samuel Bowman and one or two other men. They had pro- 

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Pioneer History of Meigs County 49 

gressed only half way from Chester when night came on and 
they had to spend the night in the woods. They built fires 
for protection from wolves, whose howling they heard appar- 
ently in force, at no great distance, at intervals all night. The 
men kept the fires burning, but slept little. 

Wolves continued to commit depredations on the farmers' 
sheep in Lebanon township, a gang having dens somewhere 
about the head of Ground Hog creek and Oldtown creek. An 
expert trapper named Allen came from Washington county 
in 1840 and successfully exterminated these wolves. 

The panther was often met by the hunter, but was easily 
killed, as the animal was of a bold, defiant nature, he would 
climb a tree where he was an easy mark for the hunter's rifle. 

Deer were found in great numbers and were a great bless- 
ing to the pioner families, who depended for meat upon the 
wild game. Venison was a choice meat, while the deer's hide 
was tanned and served to make various articles of apparel. 
The deer has disappeared from this county. Gray foxes were 
numerous and were great enemies to poultry raising, but the 
red fox seems to have superseded the gray, and neither are 
seen in later years. The raccoon was a great pest, destroying 
large quantities of corn while in a green state on the stalk. 
Coon hunting with dog^ was a common sport for boys until 
the animal has disappeared. The opossum and red and gray 
squirrel remain in limited numbers. (Silas Jones.) 


Abel Larkin, son of Matthias Larkin, was born in Lancaster, 
Worcestor county, Massachusetts, August 29th, 1764, and 
married Susannah Bridges in 1794, in Rutland, Vermont. She 
was bom in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia. Her father, Mr. 
Bridges, was a surveyor, but started to Massachusetts on a 
vessel to prepare a place for his family, and the vessel never 
returned, nor was heard from after sailing. Her mother was 
a Haskell, and went to Massachusetts with her family, where 
she died. 

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50 Pioneer History of Meigs County 

Abel Larkin had mills on Otter creek, Vermont, which were 
swept away by floods. He then started with wife and four 
children to Ohio, coming to Leading creek in 1804, in June. 
He was able to obtain a house on Judge Higley's farm, where 
his family remained four years. Mr. Larkin and Judge Higley 
were acquainted in Vermont. In 1808 Mr. Larkin moved into 
his own cabin on the farm he had purchased. Mr. Larkin was 
the first township clerk for Salisbury township, elected July 
27th, 1805 ; was also elected justice of the peace in 1808, again 
in 1812, and again in 1818. Afterwards he served as associate 
judge for Meigs county. 

Their children were four sons and five daughters. 

Susannah, born in Vermont in 1796, and died in Rutland in 
July, 1805. 

Emeline Larkin, born in Vermont 1798, and died in Rutland, 
Ohio, in May, 1824, aged twenty-six years. 

Abel Larkin, Jr., was born April 21st, 1801, married Adeline 
Hadley in Illinois, near Mt. Sterling, in 1835. He settled on a 
farm in Brown county, where they reared a numerous family 
— five sons and four daughters. Three of his sons enlisted in 
the Civil war, and one came back alive with injuries from 
which he died. He was John ^Larkin. The daughters were 
grown to womanhood, married and moved to different parts 
of the country. Mrs. Adeline Larkin died in 1881. Mr. Abel 
Larkin, Jr., died in 1884 in Illinois. He had been a pioneer in 
Ohio, and going to Illinois in 1829, was a pioneer in that state. 

Julia Larkin was born June 29th, 1802, in Rutland, Vermont, 
and removed with her parents to Leading creek in 1804. She 
was married to Nehemiah Bicknell March 16th, 1826, and 
came with him to Lebanon township, to his farm, where she 
lived until her death, February 25th, 1863. They had six chil- 
dren, one son and five daughters. 

Stillman Carter Larkin was born in Rutland, Ohio, March 
9th, 1808. He married Mary Hedrick, November 21st, 1837, 
and lived on the Larkin homestead until death. Stillman C. 

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Pioneer History of Meigs County 51 

Larkin died in January, 1898, aged ninety years, ten months, 
twenty-three days. Mary Larkin died May 30th, 1904, aged 
ninety-two years, five months, fifteen days. They had no 

Sarah Cutler Larkin was born September 6th, 1811, in Rut- 
land, Ohio, and was married to Joseph Jervis Miles, April 12th, 
1841. They lived in Gallipolis a few years, then came to 
Pomeroy, where Mr. Miles died in July, 1855. Mrs. Miles 
returned to the old Larkin homestead. She had no children 
that lived. Her death occurred January 17th, 1895, at the 
age of eighty-three years^ fpur months> eleven days. 

Curtis Larkin was bpjn May '27th, 1813, in Rutland, Ohio. 
He was in California a few years, but returned to Rutland, 
Ohio, where he married Lura Hubbell, who died in 1846. He 
married again — Sarah Church. They had one son, George B. 
Larkin. Their home- wjts always in Rutland, Ohio. Mr. 
Larkin held some local and township offices, was a trustee of 
Rutland township several years. He was a member of the 
First Christian church and served as an active local elder for 
more than thirty years. 

Edwin Larkin was born September 2Sth, 1815, in Rutland, 
Ohio. He went to the South in 1839 and never returned. 

Betsy Larkin was born August 8th, 1806, in Salisbury town- 
ship, Gallia county. She was married to Daniel Cutler, No- 
vember Sth, 1834. They lived in Warren township, Washing- 
ton county, Ohio, for twenty-one years, and had two children, 
Charles Curtis and Mary, who died when sixteen years of age. 
Mr. and Mrs. Cutler moved to the West in 1856, and settled 
finally in Franklin county, Kansas. Mrs. Cutler died June 
19th, 1883, aged nearly seventy-seven years. 

Daniel Cutler was born February 19th, 1799, in Waterford, 
Washington county, Ohio. He was the son of Judge Ephram 
Cutler and his first wife, who died early, leaving four children, 
Charles, Nancy, Mary,. and Daniel, who was taken to the 
home of Rev. Manasseh Cutler, where he spent his childhood. 

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52 Pioneer History of Meigs County 

His father, Ephram Cutler, married Sarah Parker, and she 
was the mother of Hon. William P. Cutler. Mr. Daniel 
Cutler was an anti-slavery man, and lived in Kansas in those 
exciting times of border warfare. He was also a temperance 
man, and a member of the Congregational church. He was 
the first postmaster of Rantoul, Franklin county, was a farmer, 
owned a thousand acres of land in one body. He lived and 
died an honorable. Christian gentleman, on January 10th, 
1887. Charles C. Cutler, an only child, survives him and oc- 
cupies the homestead. 

Mr. Daniel Cutler commenced life in the Northwestern 
Territory, and followed up along the border of civilization 
during a most eventful period of time, for "the whole of his 
eighty-eight years of life. 

Abel Larkin, whose family has been noted, died February 
17th, 1830, in Rutland, Ohio, aged sixty-five years, five 
months, nineteen days. 

Susannah Larkin (Bridges) died August 14th, 1860, aged 
eighty-nine years, four months, twenty-six days. She passed 
away from her own homestead in Rutland, a woman honored. 

Nehemiah Bicknell was the son of Japhet Bicknell and wife. 
Amy Bicknell (nee Burlingame), was born June 26th, 1796, 
at East Greenwich, Rhode Island. His parents moved to 
New York state in 1798, where he lived until nineteen years 
of age, and his father and brother having died, Nehemiah, 
with his widowed mother, came with a company under the 
leadership of Rev. Samuel Porter, to Athens, Ohio, in October, 
1815. They traveled with teams and covered wagons, and 
were forty days on the way, always stopping over Sunday. 
His mother died in February, 1816, and lies buried in the 
old cemetery, at Athens, leaving him and his younger sister, 
Zimrode, alone among strangers in a new country. God took 
care of them and they soon found good friends. 

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Pioneer History of Meigs County 53 

March 16th, 1826, Nehemiah Bicknell married Julia Larkin, 
in Rutland, Ohio, and they moved immediately to make their 
home on his farm in Lebanon township on the banks of the 
Ohio river. They endured many hardships incident to pioneer 
life, none of which they deprecated more than the ignorance 
and low state of morals in the neighborhood. Mr. Bicknell 
opened his own house for preaching in about 1828 or 1829, to 
the Methodist itinerant. Later he secured the building of 
a school house on his land adjoining the Pioneer burying 
ground, where the preaching appointment was removed, and 
continued for many years. Afterward he gave a lot for a 
site for a church, deeded to trustees of the Methodist Episco- 
pal church, and a public graveyard. Mr. Bicknell was a 
public spirited man, who felt the lack of early education a 
constant impediment to progress. He was elected magistrate 
three terms, township trustee, postmaster eleven years, Sun- 
day-school superintendent for many years, class leader when 
the appointment was known as the Oldtown class. He was an 
uncompromising temperance man all of his long life, and 
erected a large barn, the second building in Meigs county 
raised without the compliment of whisky. He was a road 
viewer and helped in laying out roads in nearly every part of 
the county, and dissented from the policy of narrow minded 
men who would lay out a public road on inaccessable hillsides, 
or around the corner of a selfish man's farm. He claimed foi 
the traveling public suitable ground, and making good roads 
everywhere. At eighty-three years of age his step was firm, 
his eyes bright, and cheeks rosy. His birthday, celebrated in 
June, 1879, he, with his eldest daughter, left home August 1st 
to revisit his boyhood home in Chenango county. New York, 
and attend to the placing of gravestones anew at his father's 
grave. In some strange manner he seemed to have gone 
out of the car to the platform, when he fell off and was 
killed. This was on the Erie railroad, near Beaver Flats, and 
the fatality occurred about 3 a. m., August 6th, 1879. His 

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54 Pioneer History of Meigs County 

stricken daughter brought his body back and he was laid by 
the side of his wife in the graveyard by the little church 
called "Bickneirs Chapel." (E. L. B.) 

The children of Nehemiah Bicknell and his wife, Julia 
Bicknell (nee Larkin), were Emeline Larkin, born February 
19th, 1827, and was married to Isaac A. Cowdery in July, 
1846. It proved a most unfortunate marriage, and she ob- 
tained a divorce in June, 1853, in the Common Pleas court of 
Meigs county, and her name restored to that of Bicknell. 
She had borne two children, a son, dying at three months, and 
a daughter, Ella Frances, who died October 10th, 1860, in her 
ninth year. 

Julia Amy was born December 28th, 1828, and died of fever, 
September, 1846. 

An infant son of Nehemiah Bicknell and his wife, March 
10th, 1833. 

Zimrode Adaline was married to John Roberts in May, 1855. 
She died December 10th, 1870, leaving three children, Arthur 
B., Zimrode Ella, and Albert John Roberts. 

Sarah Elizabeth, born September 24th, 1839, and died 
October 3d, 1860. 

Mary Susannah, born March 7th, 1842, was married to Rev. 
George J. Conner in October, 1869. They had one son, Charlie 
Cookman, but father and son both died — the first 1873, the 
latter 1876. She was again married to David B. Cross in 
January, 1879, and died March 7th, 1882, forty years of age. 
She left one son, Willie Bicknell Cross. 

Allen Ogden was born in Maryland, April 13th, 1775. He 
was in Marietta in 1788. In June, 1795, he married Miss 
Hannah Keller, with whom, in April, 1804, they moved to 
what is now known as Columbia township, Meigs county. He 
purchased land, cleared up a farm, where he made his home 
and reared a family of ten children. He served many years 

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Pioneer History of Meigs County 55 

as a justice of the peace, and filled other responsible township 

Mary Ogden was married to Joshua Wood, the first couple 
married in Columbia township. They had nine children. Mr. 
Wood was a justice of the peace and Whig politician. 

Margaret Wood married Elias P. Davis. She died, leaving 
two children. Nancy Wood was married to Nehemiah Bobo. 
They had eleven children, twenty-nine grand children and 
five great-grandchildren. 

William Wood married Sarah Rutherford and reared four 
children, with a number of descendants. 

Elizabeth Wood was married to Eli Vale, and they had a 
large family of children and grandchildren. 

Joshua Wood married Elizabeth Forrest, and they had one 

Rachel Wood was married to J. Q. A. Vale, a physician. 
Their home was in Minnesota. Dr. Vale has been a member 
of the legislature of that state. They had six children. 

Mary Wood married Levi Whitlock, and they went to Min- 
nesota and had a large family of children. 

Adah Ogden, daughter of Alvin Ogden and wife, was born 
March 7th, 1799, and was married to John Conner. They 
moved to Indiana. To them were born six children. 

Sabert Ogden was born October 3d, 1801, married Eliza 
Forrest, and settled in Salem. They had seyen children. 
Sabert Ogden died February 10th, 1874. Mrs. Ogden died 
December 24th, 1896, aged eighty-five years, six months, 
eighteen days. 

Alvin Ogden, Jr., married Nancy Jordan, and resided in 
Salem. They had two children, and several grandchildren. 

Herbert Ogden had three sons in the Civil war, Alvin, 
John, and Hugh. John was in Company I, Fifty-third Ohio 
Volunteer Infantry, and died in the service at Camp Denison, 

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66 Pioneer History of Meigs County 

Hugh Ogden, the second son of Alvin Ogden, Sr., was born 
March 11th, 1804. He never married. He died in 1872 in 
Salem township. 

Nancy Ogden, daughter of Alvin Ogden, Sr., and his wife, 
was born May 18th, 1806. She was married to William Green, 
and they both lived and died in Columbia township. They 
had five children. Albert Green was a soldier in the 
Eighteenth Ohio Volunteer Infantry, and died in the service. 

Lovina Ogden Green married Lewis Castor, of Columbia. 
Hannah Green married Miles Graham, a member of the 
Eighteenth Ohio Volunteer Infantry, who died shortly after 
the close of the war. 

Cynthia Green married William Graham, who was a soldier 
and died in the service the first year of the Civil war. 

Elizabeth Ogden, daughter of Alvin Ogden, Sr., was born 
July 25th, 1808, and was married to Daniel Caleb, and moved 
to Hardin county, Ohio, where they died. They had four 
children and numerous descendants. 

Noah Ogden, a son of Alvin Ogden, Sr., was born March 
16th, 1811. He married Dorcas Graham and settled in Salem 
township and had four children, and numerous descendants. 
He died in 1890. 

Alvin Ogden, Sr., died January 4th, 1867, aged nearly 
ninety-two years. He was a son of a Revolutionary soldier, 
himself a pioneer of Meigs county. When he died he left ten 
children, 129 grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren. 
No race suicide in his posterity. 

The foregoing sketch is copied from a history of the Ogden 
family, as a part of that interesting narrative published in the 
"Telegraph," January 28th, 1898. S. C. Larkin. 

Shubael Nobles and family came from Tremont township, 
Rutland county, Vermont, to Marietta in 1801. Then to the 
Joel Higley farm in 1804, and finally to his own farm in the 
northwest corner of Section No. IS, in Rutland, in 1805. 

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Pioneer History of Meigs County 67 

Mrs. Nobles before marriage was Elizabeth Post. They 
had three sons and six daughters. Mr. Nobles was a tanner 
by trade, also a shoemaker. Charles F. Nobles, a son, was 
a blacksmith. He married Sarah Fanny Winn in October, 
1818. She was a daughter of Abraham Winn, and was born 
July 24th, 1795, in Ontario county. New York. She was a 
noble woman, with gjeat energy. They reared a large family 
of sons and daughters. Mr. Charles F. Nobles died in 1870. 
Mrs. Nobles died November 24th, 1890, aged ninety-five years, 
four months. 

Lewis Nobles, son of Shubael Nobles, married Betsy 
Strausburg. He was noted as an ingenious mechanic. He 
died May 26th, 1887, aged sixty-seven years, eleven months, 
seven days. His wife died March 1st, 1897, in her seventy- 
sixth year of age. 

Osmar Nobles was never married, but lived on the old farm 

Silas Nobles went to Indiana, married and died there. 

Abigail Nobles, daughter of Shubael Nobles, was married 
to Phineas Matthews, of Gallia county. Julia married Jacob 
A. Winn, lived in Rutland, and died in 1882, at the age of 
eighty-five years. Eliza was married to Jacob Swisher and 
lived in Gallia county. 

Esther Nobles was married to Abel Chase, of Rutland, Ohio. 
She was born March 26th, 1808. Eunice Nobles died March 
17th, 1878, aged seventy-eight years. Mary Nobles died in 
Rutland, aged sixty-one years. Shubael Nobles, Sr., died in 
1854, aged ninety-one years. His wife died in 1855, aged 
eighty-eight years. 

William Parker, second, was born in Newbufyport, Massa- 
chusetts, July 4th, 1775, and came to Marietta with his father, 
William Parker, first, in 1798. He married Betsy Wyatt, 
daughter of Deacon Joshua Wyatt, of Athens county, May 
13th, 1802, and they came to Rutland, Ohio, in 1804, and 

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58 Pioneer History of Meigs County 

settled on a farm, which has been owned and occupied by a 
Parker for more than one hundred years. 

The children of William Parker, second, and his wife were : 
Eliza, who was married to Samuel Halliday, and lived in Meigs 
county. They had a family of sons and daughters ; Alexander 
died when a child; William Halliday; Jane was Mrs. Rob- 
bins; Samuel Halliday married Elizabeth Remington, of 
Pomeroy ; Eliza, Henry, Thomas, Edwin, and Mary left Meigs 
county with their parents in 1850. 

William Parker, third, married Lovina Stout. Their chil- 
dren were: William. Parker, fourth, Mary, Ida, Sophronia, 
Edwin Parker, BartoriV ' a4fl ' Sjarah — Mrs. Green, who died 
early, leaving one daughter. ' Edwin married and lives in 
Cincinnati. Ida Parker was a successful teacher in the public 
schools in MiddlepQrt,,Ohio. Two brothers and two unmarried 
sisters live together, in the. hbniestead. 

Silas Parker, son^f Williji.m Parker, second, studied medi- 
cine and went to the West when quite a young man. 

Mary Parker was married to Buckingham Cooley, who died 
early, leaving a widow and one daughter. Mrs. Cooley was 
married afterwards to William Bartlett, of Athens, Ohio. 

Sarah E. Parker became the wife of Tobias A. Plantz, Esq., 
and lived in Pomeroy. They had two children, Mary E. 
Plants who died young, and George Wyatt Plantz, banker and 
prominent citizen of Pomeroy for many years, identified with 
all good enterprises for the prosperity of the town. He mar- 
ried Mary G. Daniel, daughter of H. G. Daniel, banker and an 
esteemed business man of Pomeroy. They have one son, who 
bears the family name, Wyatt Garfield Plantz, and is one of 
the bankers — "First Citizens Bank," of Pomeroy. 

John Wyatt Parker, son of William Parker, second, and his 
wife, was born in Rutland. He married Eliza McQuigg, and 
lived in Gallipolis for several years, was auditor of Gallia 
county, but removed to Dubuque, Iowa. 

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PUBLIC Lli.^ ^ 

naBn FOUM2»ATiOKft 

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Pioneer History of Meigs County 59 

Daniel Parker, son of William Parker, second, and his wife, 
was born October 22d, 1809. He married Catharine E. Gil- 
lespie, of Dayton, Ohio, in 1847. They had three sons: 
George G., Daniel Herbert, and Frank H. Parker, all noted 
physicians and specialists in surgery. Mr. Daniel Parker owned 
and occupied the homestead, and died January 19th, 1893, 
aged eighty-three years, two months, twenty-eight days. Mrs. 
Parker died in 1908, in her eighty-fourth year, a woman of 
rare accomplishments, one who never grew old. 

This Parker homestead is occupied by Dr. Frank Parker, the 
only surviving member of his father's family. 

A party of Indians came to Rutland sometime in the inter- 
val between 1804 and 1808. The date is not as certain as 
the incident. It was a custom in those days when preaching 
by a minister was only occasional, to observe the Sabbath 
by services at the home of some family in the neighborhood. 
One Sunday when the meeting was in progress, Indians were 
seen looking through the cracks of the door, and between the 
logs. Immediately consternation prevailed, the women cry- 
ing and wringing their hands, while some of the men went to 
the door, shook hands with them and found them to be friendly. 
The Indians said they wanted "johnny-cake," which fortunately 
was at hand, so the request was granted and the Indians de- 
parted. Mr. Milo Higley has written a very good song on 
johnny-cake, and we venture to copy two stanzas relating to 
the foregoing narrative. 

"It was Sunday in that early day. 

And all had gone to church 
In the house of Mr. Larkin, 

God's holy book to search. 
Around the fireside they met, 

A blessing to partake, 
While from the hearth came up the fume 
Of steaming johnny-cake. 

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60 Pioneer History of Meigs County 

"While thus in solemn worship there 

The women gave a scream, 
For through a crack in the cabin wall 

A red-skin's eyes were seen. 
The stately deacons rose and asked, 

*Why this disturbance make?' 
In Indian language they replied, 

*We want some johnny-cake !' " 

This visit was the last one of the Indians in the vicinity of 
Rutland. . 


A meeting preliminary to a call for the organizing of a 
pioneer society met at the court house in Pomeroy in October, 
1876, Mr. H. B. Smith, chairman, Aaron Stivers, secretary. 
Those present were Stillman C. Larkin, Aaron Torrence, 
Nehemiah Bicknell, Silas Jones, Mrs. H. B. Smith, Mrs. S. C. 
Miles, and Mrs. E. L. Bicknell. They met and proceeded to 
name a committee to announce the time and place for a regu- 
lar organization of the Meigs County Pioneer Society, and to 
prepare a constitution, with suitable by-laws, for the future 
conduct of the society. They reported at the next meeting, 
which was held in the court house at Pomeroy, November 1st, 
1876, pursuant to the call of the last meeting. 

President Stillman C. Larkin in the chair, and Aaron 
Stivers, secretary. The object of the meeting was stated by 
the president and then the report and constitution was read 
and adopted. 

"In view of the fact that all of the first settlers of Meigs 
county have passed away, and most of their children are also 
gone, and that time is effacing the mementos and monuments 
that have marked the only history of our county, we are 
admonished that unless immediate steps are taken to preserve 
the remembrance of those interesting events they will be for- 
gotten and lost. In order therefore to recover and preserve 

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Pioneer History of Meigs County 61 

and record the past and current history of our county for the 
benefit and satisfaction of our present population, as well as 
those whom it may interest when time shall have removed us 
who now record these events, this society is formed and for its 
regulation have adopted the following constitution: 

"Article 1. This society shall be known as the Meigs 
County Pioneer Society. 

"Art. 2. The object of this society shall be the promotion of 
social intercourse, the collection and preservation of the his- 
tory of the early settlers of Meigs county, and such other 
matters of interest as may be declared by the society to be 
worthy of record and preservation. 

"Art. 3. Any person who has been twenty years a resident 
of Meigs county, and is over fifty years of age, or who is the 
wife of a member, may become a member of this society by 
signing this constitution, and all male members paying into its 
treasury five cents, and fifty cents annually during member- 
ship. Residents of adjoining counties may become members 
by a vote of the society. 

"Art. 4. The officers of the society shall consist of a 
president, vice-president, treasurer, corresponding secretary, 
and recording secretary, and an executive committee of five, 
who shall hold their respective offices for the term of one year, 
and until their successors are elected and installed. 

"Art. 5. The officers shall be elected annually by ballot on 
the day of the annual meeting, and a majority of the members 
present and voting shall be necessary to a choice. 

"Art. 6. The annual meeting of this society shall be held on 
the second Thursday in August of each year. The president 
or executive committee may call a meeting at discretion. 

"Art. 7. All money must be paid to the recording secretary, 
vvrho shall pay the same to the treasurer, taking his receipt for 
the same. 

"Art. 8. The treasurer shall deposit the funds of the so- 
ciety in some solvent bank in the name of the society, and 

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63 Pioneer History of Meigs County 

pay the same out on the order of the recording secretary, as 
directed by the executive committee, unless otherwise ordered 
by the society. 

"Art. 9. A majority of the members present at an annual 
meeting shall determine the place of the next annual meeting 
thereafter to be holden. 

"Art. 10. The executive committee with the two secretaries 
shall give the necessary notice, and make arrangements for the 
annual meeting of the society. 

"Art. 11. The constitution may be altered or amended at 
any annual meeting by a vote of two-thirds of all the members 

The Signers of the Constitution. 

Horace Holt, Mary Lasher, N. Bicknell, Sarah C. Miles, 
Benjamin Smith, P. Pennington, Samuel Bradbury, Samuel 
Halliday, Sarah Murphy, Samuel S. Paine, Mary Simms, 
Sophrina Stivers, Silas Jones, W. Stivers, John Erwin, Electa 
McQuigg, Aaron Thompson, Sarah F. Nobles, Aaron Stivers, 
Persis O. Cooper, T. A. Plants, Stillman C. Larkin, S. Bos- 
worth, W. A. Barringer, John Ruble, L. Smith, Geo. W. 
Cooper, W. B. Smith, W. B. Pennington, John C. Hysell. 

The society then proceeded to choose officers and the fol- 
lowing were elected : 

Stillman C. Larkin, president; John C. Hysell, vice-presi- 
dent; H. B. Smith, treasurer; Aaron Stivers, recording secre- 
tary ; Geo. W. Cooper, corresponding secretary ; Samuel Brad- 
bury, Silas Jones, Washington Stivers, Aaron Thompson, and 
John Ervin, executive committee. 

It was then determined by a vote of the society to hold the 
next annual meeting in Middleport. 

The meeting then adjourned. 

Stillman C. Larkin, President. 
Aaron Stivers, Secretary. 

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Pioneer History of Meigs County 63 

Benjamin Smith, who was born in Salisbury township in 
1804, gave some items, related interesting incidents of early 
times, and promised if life and health permitted to prepare 
a paper for the annual meeting, as his father and grandfather 
were among the first early settlers in the county. 

John C. Hysell gave incidents of early history and con- 
sented to write an article from his knowledge of pioneer 

Samuel Halliday, who came from Scotland in 1819, and was 
county auditor for twenty-three years, expressed his gratifi- 
cation at this moment, and made some very appropriate re- 
marks in relation to it. He also promised to furnish a paper 
containing a history of events in the county, and observations 
on the conduct of county affairs. 

T. A. Plantz spoke of a history prepared by a son of Daniel 
Parker, who lived in Clermont county, that included valuable 
information of the earliest settlements in Meigs county, and 
he would secure a copy for this pioneer society. 

H. B. Smith offered the following resolution, which was 
adopted : "Resolved, that each member of this society be re- 
quested to furnish in a written form, at the next annual meet- 
ing, such information as shall be within the meaning and 
spirit of the constitution of this society, and that T. A. 
Plantz be appointed a committee to procure the Parker 

A paper was filed containing an account of the settlement 
of N. Bicknell in 1820, in Lebanon township. 

By Luther Hecox. 

Thurman Hecox and family moved from the Wn^stone, New 
York, to Newbury in Ohio, between the Big Hocking and 
Little Hocking rivers in August, 1800, and the same year 
moved up the Hocking river four miles into Troy township. 

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64 Pioneer History of Meigs County 

The next year, 1801, they planted corn on the George Ackley 
farm and one day when they were hoeing com they killed five 
rattlesnakes, not until Mr. Hecox had been bitten by one. 
They had to go up the Muskingum river four miles above 
Marietta to a floating mill in summer; in winter they lived 
on boiled com and turnips. Their meat was venison. The 
nearest neighbor was Mr. Humphrey, who lived on what is 
known as Waterman's hill. Another neighbor was Mr. Sut- 
ton, a trapper. In 1803 they moved to the middle branch of 
Shade river, to No. 4, in Troy township. They moved with 
an ox sled and two yoke of oxen, the first team that ever went 
through Tupper's Plains. David Daily drove the hogs, and 
as they tired out he had to camp in the woods with them to 
keep the wolves from killing them. David Daily was a Revo- 
lutionary soldier. Nathan Burris was the first family to 
settle on the middle branch of Shade river, one mile above 
where Levi Stedman built his first mill. Solomon Burris, an 
uncle to Nathan Burris, lived there. Mr. Longworth and Mr. 
Stone settled on Congress land, and Jacob Cowdery settled 
on the middle branch, at the mouth of the west branch of 
Shade river, above Stedman's mill. Levi Stedman and Peter 
Grow lived in Gallia county, half a mile below the line be- 
tween the two counties. Afterward they got one section an- 
nexed to Athens county, which then ran no farther than the 
Orange township line, with the exception of one section which 
belonged to Gallia county. This line runs east to the Ohio 
river, near the mouth of a small stream called Indian run. 
Samuel Branch came next with his family and located on the 
east side of the middle branch of Shade river, and Ezra Hoyt 
came about the same time. Jacob Rice settled on the west 
side of the west branch in 1806. Mr. Kingsbury took land on 
the first fork of the west branch of Shade river, which is known 
as Kingsbury, after the name of the first settler. He was a 
brother-in-law to Levi Stedman. The first organization of 
militia was in 1805. Thurman Hecox was elected captain 

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Pioneer History of Meigs County 65 

and Joseph Guthrie first lieutenant. He lived in No. 5. Jacob 
Halsey and a man named Lasley lived on the middle branch 
of Shade river. They hauled grain to the mouth of Hocking, 
there loaded in canoes and pushed up to the floating mill on 
the Muskingum river above Marietta, a trip that took nine 
days to go and return. There were no stores nearer than 
Marietta or Gallipolis. Prices were high — sixty-two and one- 
half cents for prints, the same for brown sheeting, and tea was 
two dollars a pound. Bears, panthers, wolves and deer were 
plenty, also small game. Wild turkeys were seen in flocks of 
hundreds. Mr. Hecox killed a bear that weighed four hundred 
pounds when dressed. William and Jeptha Hecox were in 
the woods and treed a half-grown bear. Jeptha ran home to 
get an ax, or a gun, and left William and the dogs to watch 
the bear. While he was gone the bear came down the tree, 
the dogs seized him, and William took a pine knot and struck 
him in the head and killed him. Levi Stedman had his hog 
pen near his house and one night he was away and a bear 
came into the pen to get a hog, but Mrs. Stedman threw a 
firebrand at him from the window and frightened him away. 
Cyrus Cowdery killed an elk, the last one seen in these parts. 
John Sloan was hunting deer one day when his dogs treed a 
panther. He shot and wounded it, when it came at him ; the 
dogs caught hold, and Sloan declares that he "shot the animal 
nine times before he killed it." In the year 1804 Mr. Hecox 
bought a pair of hand-mill stones, on which they ground wheat 
and corn, and sifted it through a buckskin sieve. Levi Sted- 
man built a log mill on what is now Chester, and put Mr. 
Hecox's hand-mill stones in his mill until he could get larger 
ones. These pioneers had to go to the Scioto river to obtain 
salt, a journey of seventy miles, and paid two dollars a 
bushel for the salt. There was only a horse-path for travel, 
and carried by pack horses the salt, the party camping out at 
night. Later roads were made for the use of carts and oxen. 
They went tP Marietta for all mail matter until 1812. There 

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66 Pioneer History of Meigs County 

was a mail route opened from Parkersburg to Point Pleasant 
running through by Stedman's Mill. Levi Stedman was ap- 
pointed Postmaster, he was also the first Justice of the Peace, 
and Thurman Hecox was Constable. These men filled these 
offices for a number of years, without opposition. Levi Sted- 
man opened a store, carried on farming, ran a saw and grist 
mill, kept a tavern, and owned a distillery. Wool had to be 
carded, spun and woven by hand, flax was raised, and manu- 
factured into cloth, for wearing apparel. Some men had 
suits of dressed deerskin. The first preaching was at Nathan 
Burris' house, and next by Rev. Eli Stedman at Samuel 
Branch's. Afterwards they had occasional preaching by dif- 
ferent denominations. In 1820, Elisha Rathburn was the 
preacher, and a goodly number experienced religion and 
united with the Bible Christian Church. The first school- 
house was built on Samuel Branch's land, and the first teacher 
there was a Miss Pratt, who lived on Pratt's fork, a mile up 
the river. William and Benjamin Bellows were settlers in 
this neighborhood, until William sold out to Caleb Cart- 
wright, a preacher of the Seventh Day Baptist. 

The name of Stedman occurs so frequently that an ex- 
planation is in order. From Walker's History of Athens, we 
take the statement: "Alexander Stedman, a native of Ver- 
mont, and by profession an artisan, settled in Rome township 
in 1804. In 1805, he was appointed a Judge of the Court of 
Common Pleas, and served in that position several years. 
One of his sons was Eli Stedman, a minister. Another son 
was Levi Stedman, a Commissioner of Athens county, and for 
a short time in Meigs. Bial Stedman married Sally Foster in 
1811," and had sons and daughters. Capt. Julius C. Stedman, 
a son of Bial Stedman, was a soldier in the Mexican War, 
and a soldier in 116th Ohio V. I. from the first to the close of 
the Civil War. He always had a home in or near Athens. 

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Pioneer History of Meigs County 67 


Long Bottom is situated in the eastern part of Meigs 
county. The first settlers were Thomas Rairdon and the 
Colmans, probably before 1800, as the date is not positively 
known. William Buffington bought land in 1808, and several 
families came about that time, the Whitesides, Collins' and 
others. Thomas Rairdon built the first grist mill in 1815. 
The first postoffice was kept on the Warner farm in 1815. 
Robert Collins, Postmaster. The first Methodist Church was 
built in 1844. The first Christian Church in 1847, and the 
first store was kept by John Roberts and William Hicks in 
1839, near the mouth of Forked Run. J. H. Stewart came to 
Long Bottom in 1830. The leading business of the place has 
been the working up of the splendid forest into staves, and 
the manufacture of various kinds of casks. In 1819, this 
locality was an almost unbroken forest." 

Lebanon township was formed in 1813, taken out of Letart 
township, and possesses a greater river boundary than any 
other township in Meigs county. It was a dense forest at the 
time of its organization. Trees of great size, and timber of the 
finest quality, covered the rich bottom lands of the Ohio river 
and the creeks of Old Town and Groundhog, while the hills 
bore the best yellow pine and spruce for lumber. The sugar 
maple, hickory, black oak and white oak, poplar, beech and 
sycamore excelled in size and quality any forests of Europe. 
The black walnut, white walnut and wild cherry were favorite 
woods for the manufacture of furniture, and for inside work of 
the best houses. Black walnut and cherry were used particu- 
larly for the making of coffins in those early days. So these 
trees of Lebanon had special attractions to the commercial 
eyes of later emigrants. More than one farm was paid for by 
the cordwood cut and sold to steamboats for fuel, when steam- 

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68 Pioneer History of Meigs County 

boats first ran on the Ohio river. Besides the trees, were 
growths of wild fruits, crab apples, red and black hawes, rasp- 
berries and blackberries, and two or three varieties of grapes, 
and not least in profusion, beauty or lusciousness, was the pa- 
paw. There were herbs and roots used for medicinal purposes, 
and collected to sell for money. Ginseng, snakeroot and nerv- 
ine, or ladies' slipper, grew in abundance in the shade of the 
great trees. Two remarkable trees are worthy of notice. One, 
a monster sycamore on Old Town creek not far from the mouth 
of the stream. It was hollow, and made a home for a family 
once, afterwards served as a stable for horses. The other tree 
was a sycamore, and hollow, and stood on the bottom land of 
N. Bicknell's farm in Great Bend. 

Dr. Philip Lauck and Rev. Ezra Grover came from Eastern 
Virginia with their families in 1813 and bought a fine tract of 
land in Lebanon township, on the Ohio river bottom. Rev. Gro- 
ver was a Methodist preacher, but was superannuated from the 
Baltimore Conference. Dr. Lauck was his son-in-law by mar- 
riage and had an extensive and successful practice, which took 
him away from home much of the time, so that the care of his 
growing family, and of the making of a farm out of the wilder- 
ness developed upon Father Grover and Mrs. Lauck. Rev. 
Grover was a good preacher, a zealous Christian and an able 
defender of the faith, as held by Methodism. They opened 
their door for public preaching, and many a weary itinerant 
was cheered by their hospitality. Dr. Lauck died compara- 
tively young, leaving a widow and six children. The sons, 
Isaac, Ezra, and Simon; the daughters, Mary Ann, Hannah 
and Elizabeth. Isaac Lauck married Nancy Hall, and Ezra 
Lauck married her sister, Rachel Hall, of Old Town^ They 
moved to Missouri many years ago.' Mary Ann Lauck died 
of consumption in early womanhood, Hannah Lauck married 
Nicholas Richardson, son of a Scotch family who came to 
Sterling Bottom. Elizabeth* Lauck was married to James 

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Pioneer History of Meigs County 69 

Amsden, a highly respected man, who took charge of the 
farm, and the family after the death of Father Grover in 1835. 

In 1811, a company of Scotch from Glasgow, Scotland, 
through the influence of Nahum Ward of the Ohio Company's 
Land Purchase, emigrated to Ohio, and settling on Sterling 
Bottom, named for the "land of the heather." George Rich- 
ardson, the Pattersons, McCoys and others. Dissatisfaction, 
discontent, homesickness and death served to break up and 
scatter the company. Only Mr. George Richardson remained, 
and he was a merchant and capable of adapting himself to the 
primitive conditions of the country. Mrs. Richardson was a 
native of Antigua, one of the British West Indies, and had 
inherited slaves and plantation interests, but England freed the 
slaves, and much of the riches vanished. They had a family, 
one daughter, Eliza Richardson. Nicholas Richardson, the 
eldest son, married Hannah Lauck. George, Jr., and other 
children names unknown. The Richardsons left Sterling Bot- 
tom some time in the 30's. 

Philip Buffington purchased the Island of Duvol in 1796, 
ever since known as Buffington's Island. Joseph Buffington 
came from Hampshire county, Virginia, in 1814, bought a 
farm, Jacob Buffington also, located on the Ohio bottoms, op- 
posite and below the island. They both had large families of 
sons and daughters. They were a well-to-do, industrious, hos- 
pitable people — good neighbors. 


The rock of Antiquity is so called from the fact that thi 
earliest settlers found engraven on its face inscriptions and 
figures of ancient date. These consisted of names of persons 
not English ; also the figure of an Indian cut in the face of the 
rock. He was represented as in a squatting position, his right 
elbow on his knee, with a tomahawk pipe in his mouth. Dr. 
Fuller Elliot, a man of much learning, thought that these in- 
scriptions were made by a party of Frenchmen who descended 

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70 Pioneer History of Meigs County 

the river after the evacuation of Fort Duquesne — now Pitts- 
burg, as the date on the rock seemed to correspond with that 
event. The inscriptions are now obliterated. 

The rock in question is situated about four mites below 
Letart Falls, and is detached from a confused mass of rocks 
that have fallen from the cliff above. The village of Antiquity 
takes its name from this rock. — Silas Jones. 

Comments on the Foregoing by Stillman C. Larkin. 

The opinion of Judge Elliot (who at an early period lived 
near the noted rock, and saw the inscriptions), that they were 
made by a party of Frenchmen, is doubtless correct. But what 
particular party did the work is not so clear. The English 
and French nations were contending for many years by diplo 
macy, and by wars, to secure the title and possession of the 
Ohio Valley, and were not slack in employing every available 
means to strengthen their claims. In a history of the Kan- 
awha Valley by Professor V. A. Wilson, is the following : 

*Tn 1748, the British Parliament passed laws authorizing the 
formation of many new settlements and issuing land grants 
for the settlement of the upper Ohio. In view of such ag- 
gression the Governor General of Canada, by order of his 
home government, determined to place along the 'Oyo,' or 
La Belle Riviere, a number of leaden plates suitably inscribed, 
asserting the claims of France to lands on both sides of the 
river, even* to the source of the tributaries. The command 
consisted of eight subaltern officers, six cadets, 180 Canadians 
and 55 Indians, an armorer, 20 soldiers, 270 men in all. 

The expedition left Montreal on the 15th of June, 1749, and 
on the 29th reached the junction of the Monongahela and the 
Allegheny rivers, where the first plate was buried. The expe 
dition then descended the river depositing plates at the mouths 
of the principal tributaries, and on the 18th of August they 

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Pioneer History of Meigs County tl 

reached the mouth of the Great Kanawha and on the point 
between the rivers the fifth plate was buried. It was found in 
1846 by a son of John Beale of Mason county, West Virginia, 
and was removed from the spot where it had lain for ninety- 
seven years. 

From the mouth of the Great Kanawha the voyage was con- 
tinued down the river depositing plates until they reached 
the mouth of the Great Miami, where they buried the sixth 
and last plate, August 30th, 1749, and returned to Montreal by 
way of Maumee." It being the business of this company to 
establish monuments of ownership, it seems reasonable to 
suppose that they might have made the inscriptions on the 
rock at Antiquity, a historic monument worthy of giving name 
to that enterprising village of Antiquity. S. C. L. 

Dr. Fuller Elliot was the son of Aaron Elliot and wife Lydia, 
and was born in Sutton, Massachusetts. He was a university 
graduate, and chose the profession of medicine. Fuller Elliot 
was an agent, and possibly a stockholder in the Ohio Com- 
pany's Purchase, as the county records show his name in the 
making of deeds of lands in 1792 to purchasers of lands situ- 
ated in Washington and Gallia counties. He entered land for 
himself in 1805, 277 acres, and again in 1817, 648 acres in Letart 

Fuller Elliot was a man of high character and rare attain- 
ment, and locating in Letart at that early date; was promi- 
nent in helping to organize townships, and in all matters per- 
taining to public interest and benefit. He was appointed Asso- 
ciate Judge of Gallia, and afterwards of Meigs county. He 
was elected to the Legislature of Ohio, in all offices serving 
with fidelity to the people, and honor to himself. He married 
a daughter of Seth Jones who lived near, and came to Letart 
about the same time. Judge Elliot and wife had a large family. 
Mary Elliot, the eldest daughter, was born June 7, 1803, and 
was married to John Weldon. Mrs. Weldon spent most of her 

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72 Pioneer History of Meigs Counts 

married life not far from her father's home, and reared a nu- 
merous family. Serena Elliot, another daughter, married 

Swearingen and moved to West Virginia. 

Decatur S. Elliot married Parma Sherwood, and resided in 
West Virginia, Graham Station. They had a number of chil- 
dren. Decatur Elliot and two or three of his sons were sol- 
diers in the Civil War to preserve the Union. 

Philip Elliot, a son of Fuller Elliot, married Serena Myers, 
and had four children — Martha, Eliza, Thornton J. and Ben- 
jamin. He had served as lieutenant in the militia, but died 

Thornton J. Elliot, a son of Philip Elliot, served in the Civil 
War, and won honorable distinction and promotions for 
bravery and irreproachable conduct during the War for the 

In his later life Judge Elliot resumed the practice of medi- 
cine until his death which occurred in 1832, at the age of 60 

James Smith, Sr., removed from Marietta, and located above 
the mouth of Leading Creek in the spring of 1797. He died 
May 8th, 1817. His wife was Elizabeth Mack, who died Au- 
gust 9th, 1821, aged 77 years. He was 73 years of age. 

Their children were : Benjamin Smith, Esq., born October 
1st, 1770, and married Alma Barker, a daughter of Judge Isaac 
Barker, of Athens, O. 

Their children were five sons and four daughters. 

Benjamin Smith, Sr., died August 7th, 1836, aged 66 years. 

Mrs. Smith died August 29th, 1831, aged 54 years 8 months 
11 days. 

John, James, Benjamin, Barker and Sardine (the sons, and 
Polly, Elizabeth, Catharine and Rhoda and Amy, daughters), 
of Benjamin Smith, Sr. 

John N. Smith lived and died in Middleport, Meigs county. 

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Pioneer History of Meigs County Y3 

James Smith married Eliza Murray, of Rutland, and emi- 
grated to Arkansas where they both died. 

Benjamin Smith, second, a native of Salisbury, born in 1814, 
and died on May 12th, 1887, aged 83 years. 

Barker Smith settled on the West Branch of Thomas Fork 

Sardine Smith lived on Hysell run. 

Polly Smith was married to John Harris. 

Elizabeth Smith, wife of Dr. William Van Duyn. 

Catharine Smith was married to Hamilton Murray. 

Rhoda Smith became the wife of Nial R. Nye. 

Amy Smith was Mrs. Dr. Abel Phelps. 

James Smith, Jr., married Sally HubbelL sister of Capt. Jesse 
Hubbell. He died August 8th, 1844, aged 61 years 6 months. 

Mrs. Smith died April 20th, 1861, aged 61 years. 

Esquire John Smith married Betsy Monroe and lived on the 
old homestead. He died in 1872. They had a numerous fam- 
ily of sons and daughters. 

The daughters were: Polly, Mrs. Stone, of Washington 
county, O. ; Betsy, Mrs. Russell ; Catharine, Mrs. Fulsom ; Jane, 
Mrs. Erastus Stow. 

Mr. Stow died in 1842, and Mrs. Stow died in 1870. 

The Stow family : Eliza, married Dr. Augustus Watkins. 

Euretta Stow was married to Franklin Knight, of Chester, 
Meigs county. 

Mary Stow was married to David R. Jacobs, and resided in 

James Smith Stow, born July, 1806, went to Washington 
county, and died there in 1895, aged 89 years 1 month. 

John Stow went to California — to Mississippi with a boat of 
produce, and died in the south among strangers. 

Erastus Stow married Lucretia Whaley and lived on the old 
Stow farm. He was a soldier in the Civil War until its close, 
when he returned home and died. Mrs. Stow died December 
18th, 1895. They had a family. 

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74 Pioneer History oi? Meigs County 

Luke Brine moved with his family from Rutland, Vermont, 
to Leading Creek in 1805. He bought a farm near New 
Lima. He sold his farm to Horace Holt in 1824 or '25, and 
moved to Marion county, O. His children were three sons 
and three daughters. 

Jonathan Brine, a son, married Elizabeth Bobo, of Athens 
county, O. He was an ordained minister of the Christian 
Church. They had a numerous family. One daughter, Eliza 
H., was married to B. F. Stivers, a blacksmith, who lived in 

Lumon Brine was bom in Rutland, O., in 1806. He married 
Lena Sylvester, and had a family of children. Lumon Brine 
died April 16th, 1879. His widow lived on the home farm 
with her son-in-law, Harvey Stansbury, until her death in 
October, 1887, aged 81 years, 7 months, 18 days. 

Almon Brine lived in Indiana, and died there. 

Betsy Brine married William Gaston. 

Sophia Brine was the wife of William Larue. 

Semela Brine was the first wife of John Gaston. 

Thomas Gaston was a native of New England, and served 
seven years in the Revolutionary Army. He moved with his 
family to the State of New York, and afterwards, induced by 
liberal grants of land, emigrated to Canada. But on account 
of conscription measures by the British government and the 
unfriendly feeling existing between that government and the 
United States, he disposed of his property there at a sacrifice, 
and with others in like condition left Canada, and came to 
Ohio, landing at Silver run, Gallia county, in 1807. He was a 
millwright, and moved to the Higley Mills. Later he bought 
a farm near New Lima, where he spent his remaining days. 
He was a member of the Regular Baptist Church, and 
preached occasionally. Mr. Gaston and his wife had a large 
family. He was a man highly esteemed by all who knew him. 
He died in 1823 and was buried in the Miles graveyard. 

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Pioneer History of Meigs CotiNtV Y5 

Mrs. Gaston died some years after, while with some rela- 
tives in Indiana. Their children were : 

Jared Gaston, married Sally Stivers. 

Anson Gaston married Lucretia Holt. 

William Gaston married Betsy Brine. 

Jonathan Gaston's wife was Selusia Morton. 

John Gaston was married twice ; his first wife was Semelia 
Brine, and for his second wife Lydia Larue, who was bom 
March 6th, 1806. 

Her parents were Jacob Larue and Sally Gardner, who were 
married in the Block House at Marietta four or five years 
before Ohio became a State. Her grandfather, Abraham 
Larue, was a French Huguenot. Mrs. Lydia Gaston was 
married a second time, to Thomas Wood, who died in 1876, 
while Mrs. Wood continued to live in the old Gaston home- 
stead until her death in 1893. 

James Gaston married Mary Woodworth, in Canada. 

Thomas Gaston, second, died when quite a young man. 

Elijah Gaston married Samantha Woodworth and emigrated 
to the West. The daughters were: Hannah, Mrs. Joseph 
Richardson; Polly, Mrs. Joseph Skinner. All are dead, 1893. 

Frederic Hysell was a soldier of the Revolution and came 
from eastern Virginia to Ohio in 1805, to the lower part of 
Gallia county, but afterwards moved to Salisbury township, 
in what is known now as Middleport. He married Nancy 
Smith, and they had sons and daughters. Mr. Hysell died at 
a good old age, and his wife died in 1823. 

Their children: Edward Hysell lived on a farm in Salis- 
bury township. Catharine, Mrs. Jason Thomas, settled in 
lower Rutland township. Elizabeth, Mrs. George Hoppes, 
lived in Salisbury, near. Bradbury. Margaret, Mrs. Anthony 
Hysell, lived on Thomas fork. Francis Hysell married 
Nancy Dodson and lived on a farm on Hysell run. Smith 

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76 Pioneer History of Meigs County 

Hysell married Elizabeth Hunter and lived in Salisbury town- 
ship. Owen Hysell married Sophia Archer and lived in Salis- 
bury township. John C. Hysell moved into Rutland township 
on a farm on Hysell run. Mr. John C. Hysell enjoyed the con- 
fidence of his fellow citizens. He was township clerk seven 
years and served as justice of the peace for Salisbury eight 
years and for Rutland twelve years — twenty years entitled 
him to be 'Squire Hysell always. He was county commis- 
sioner one term, when the court house was built at Pomeroy, 
and superintended the same. He belonged to the Christian 
church in Rutland, and was an active, useful elder for many 
years. His wife was Miss Jane Bailey. 

Nancy Hysell, a daughter of Frederic Hysell, was married 
to Enoch Murray and lived on Thomas Fork. She died in 
1892 or 1893. 

James B. Hysell, of Middleport, was a son of John C. 
Hysell, a good citizen, held several responsible offices, was 
mayor of Middleport, trustee of the Meigs County Children's 
Home, and held other positions of honor. He died in 1906. 

Joshua Johnson (supposed to be from Portugal) came to 
Ohio in very early times, and bought a valuable tract of 
land in what is now Scipio township, and included the land 
where Harrisonville is located. He was married twice, and of 
the first marriage he had one son and two daughters. His sec- 
ond wife was a sister-in-law of Mr. Trickier, a wealthy farmer 
of Gallia county. This marriage was favored by two sons and 
one daughter. The eldest son, Isaac, went to a place near 
Cincinnati, Ohio; and the sisters, Kate, Mrs. McHenry, and 
Milly, Mrs. John Ervin. The second son, David, married 
Mrs. Paton, and after a few years moved to Missouri. 
James married his brother Isaac's widow and lived where his 
father did. The third daughter, Polly Johnson, was a maiden 
lady, taught school in Ohio and in Missouri. She was a much 
respected and enterprising woman, and during the excitement 

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Pioneer History of Meigs County 77 

caused by the discovery of gold in California she emigrated 
with some relatives from Missouri to the gold fields, where it 
is supposed that she died. 

Leonard Hedrick was bom in North Carolina May 14th, 
1784, and came to Marietta, Ohio, in 1800, and went on the 
first ship commanded by Captain James Merrill as a cabin 
boy to the ocean. When he returned, he married Elizabeth 
Loucks, of Gallia county, but settled on his own farm in Scipio 
township. Mr. Hedrick was a soldier in the War of 1812 and 
served under Colonel Robert Saiford in the Northwest cam- 
paign. Mrs. Hedrick was born February 3rd, 1786. Their 
children were: Margaret, born February 2nd, 1810, married 
— — Camp, who died in a few years after the marriage ; she 
died in Rutland, December 14th, 1891, aged eighty-one years, 
ten months. Mary, born December 15th, 1811, married Still- 
man C. Larkin, November 21st, 1837, and died in the Larkin 
homestead. May 30th, 1904, aged ninety-two years, five months, 
fifteen days. Catharine, born September 25th, 1816, married 
James Misner, who died many years ago. Mrs. Misner has 
lived in Point Pleasant, W. Va. Sally, born October 17th, 
1818, married David Forrest and lived in Scipio township. 
William, the only son, June 29th, 1824, lives on a part of his 
father's farm. Malinda, daughter of Mrs. Camp, moved to 
West Virginia, married W. Starkey. Mr. Lemuel Hedrick 
died March 29th, 1861, aged seventy-six years and ten months. 
Mrs. Hedrick died March 4th, 1870, aged eighty-four years 
and one month. 

Mr. Hedrick was a good citizen, reliable and industrious. 

Aaron Holt came originally from near Hartford, Conn., but 
after the Revolutionary War was induced, like many others, 
to go to Canada for cheap lands, but became dissatisfied and 
removed with his family to Rutland, Ohio, in 1807. His son, 
Horace Holt, was born October 7th, 1798, in Connecticut, near 

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Y8 Pioneer History of Meigs County 

Hartford. He married Malinda Bellows, daughter of Benja- 
min Bellows, of Rutland, Ohio, January 1st, 1824. They had a 
family of five children: Columbus B. Holt, Nial N., Electa, 
Mrs. John Stansbury, died many years ago; John B. Holt 
and Lovina, Mrs. S. D. Webb. Horace Holt died in Rutland, 
Ohio, March 6th, 1885, aged eighty-six years. Mrs. Holt, nee 
Malinda Bellows, was born September 4th, 1805, in Belpre, 
Ohio, and came with her father's family to Rutland in 1822. 
She died May 20th, 1893, aged eighty-seven years, six months 
And twenty-five days. She was much respected for her benevo- 
lence and Christian character. 

William Bellows, a son of Benjamin Bellows, was born 
June 1st, 1816, and married Amelia Flynn, daughter of Thomas 
Flynn and wife, who were early settlers of Lebanon township. 
They had a large family. He was killed in a runaway of 
frightened horses August 18th, 1893, aged seventy-seven years 
two months. Mrs. Amelia Bellows was born September, 
1817, and died December 16th, 1895, aged seventy-eight years 
three months. They had lived a married life of fifty-six years, 
respected by their neighbors and the community. 

The manufacture of weavers reeds was commenced and 
carried on by Horace Holt in Rutland township, Ohio, from 
1823 until his death, March 1st, 1885. The history of this 
industry, as well as that of the man who prosecuted the busi- 
ness, is worth a page of careful record. When a young man, 
Mr. Holt went to the Wabash country, in Indiana, and was 
taken sick, and while convalescent he found an old weaver's 
reed, which he unraveled to find how it was constructed. 
This led to a knowledge of the canes from which the splits 
were made. Returning to Rutland, he began in earnest to 
make weavers reeds. He obtained the canes from Mississippi 
by sending men down the river to cut canes, convey them to 
the river and to purchase boats to load with these and bring 
them to Leading creek, a tedious and expensive enterprise. 

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Pioneer History of Meigs County 79 

Mr. Holt, seeing the need of a proper machine for making the 
splits, made such a one, which worked well, and went to^ 
Washington, D. C, and obtained a patent. He went in a two- 
horse wagon, laden with reeds to sell on the way as well as to 
take his model for a patent, to the city of Washington. In 
1831 he began to manufacture reeds on a large scale. The 
sale of reeds had been by peddlers in wagons, traveling over 
the country and taking store goods in return for the reeds. 
That began the stores for the firm. Mr. Holt employed his 
brother-in-law, John Rightmire, who was a blacksmith, to 
make his machines, so that he secured complete control of the 
weavers reeds manufacture. It is claimed that at one period 
of time his was the only reed factory in the United States or 
Canada. His books show that he had made 300,000 reeds, that 
brought about $200,000. Mr. Holt paid good wages and 
treated his employes fairly, and his business was a great ad- 
vantage to the community, as it furnished remunerative em- 
ployment for many young women who otherwise could have 
earned but little. Mr. Holt was of commanding figure and 
had a giant's strength. He engaged in other kinds of busi- 
ness besides the making of reeds. In a partnership with Mr. 
Clem. Church they built the first steam gristmill in Rutland 
township, and he owned and brought into the township the 
first thrashing machine. Before the Civil War he was an 
abolitionist, and his place was a station on the "underground 
railroad." A member of the Universalist Church, he was ex- 
emplary in speech and honorable in business habits, never 
using intoxicating liquors or tobacco, and in his last years he 
was a prohibitionist. He sold the reed manufacturing business 
to his son, John B. Holt. 

Meigs county is the richer for having had such an enter- 
prising citizen. 

Peter Lalance came from France with his widowed mother 
and sister about 1788 to Marietta, Ohio, and lived in the 

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80 Pioneer History of Meigs County 

stockade at Harmar. The sister was married to Robert 
Warth, who was killed by the Indians just outside of the fort, 
leaving a wife and one child, Robert Warth, Jr. Peter Lalance 
was a comrade of the Warth brothers on their voyages down 
the Ohio river to Gallipolis, or French Town, as the Amer- 
icans called it. The Warths, George and John, were carrying 
United States mail in their canoes, and young Lalance was a 
companion. The company had to stop over night each trip, 
not being able to go all of the distance in one day, and the 
place for stopping was at Jacob Roush's, near or at Graham's 
Station, Va. Mr. Roush owned a farm and slaves. He had a 
family and, as the story goes, a handsome daughter, whose 
beauty captivated the heart of Peter Lalance, but he kept his 
secret until meeting his mother, when he described mam'selle 
to her. "She's very pretty," summed up his account. "Bring 
her here," said his mother; "I can teach her." So, with such 
permission, he asked Mr. Roush if he might woo his daughter. 
"If she is willing," was the father's consent, for up to this time 
the ardent lover had not ventured to propose to the girl. Mat- 
ters were arranged for mam'selle to go to Marietta on the 
"mail boat," a trusty colored man to accompany the young 
woman for her protection. Madame Lalance received her 
graciously, and afterwards she was married at her father's 
house to Peter Lalance. He located a farm below Bowman's 
run, in Ohio, and reared a large family. Communicated by 
Mrs. Cynthia Philson, of Racine, Ohio. 

Mrs. Mary Lasher was a daughter of Aaron Holt, and his 
wife, Elizabeth Holt, and was born in 1803, and came with 
her parents to Rutland in 1807. She was married to Charles 
Chase in 1823, and had a family of nine children, all of whom 
she reared to be respectable and useful citizens. Dr. Owen 
Chase, of the West, and Dr. Lyman Chase, of Albany, were 
her sons. After the death of Mr. Chase, she married Mr. John 
V. Lasher, of Rutland, with whom she lived in social and 

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Pioneer History of Meigs County 81 

religious harmony until his death, which preceded her own 
about two and one-half months. 

John V. Lasher was born August 9th, 1799, in Dutchess 
county. New York, and married Catharine Martin, October 
24th, 1820. In 1825 they moved to Sullivan county. New 
York. In 1835, in company with his brother-in-law, Frederic 
Tuckerman, they came to Ohio and settled on a farm in Rut- 
land township. They had a large family of nine children: 
William V., Charles, George V., Margaret, Mrs. Green; 
Mary, Mrs. Tuckerman; Beattie, Mrs. Stansbury; Carrie, 
Mrs. Brown. Mrs. Catharine Lasher died in 1864. After- 
wards Mr. Lasher married Mrs. Chase, widow of Charles 
Chase. Mr. Lasher seems to have favored all religious and 
political reforms. First a Whig; then one of two or three 
who voted for Birney, the Liberty Party man, and in his last 
years for the Prohibition Party. He died in 1864. 


An incident related by Mrs. Eliza Watkins, nee Stow: 
Mr. Erastus Stow, at an early period, when a young man, was 
employed by Captain James Merrill to stay with his family 
in Salem while he (Captain Merrill) was taking a vessel from 
Marietta to the ocean. Young Stow started with ten bushels 
of corn to get ground on the Ohio or Muskingum. After 
being gone a week, he returned to the mouth of Leading 
creek. He then took a bushel of meal and started for home 
and walked as far as Mr. John Miles, where he stopped and 
borrowed a horse and proceeded on his way. Before he 
reached home it became dark, and wolves began to howl and 
made an attack on him. Both he and the horse were fright- 
ened. He threw oif the bag of meal, put his feet on the 
horse's flanks and his arms around the animal's neck and 
made all speed to his home. When he arrived, Mrs. Merrill 
and the family came out, having heard the noise, and with 

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82 Pioneer History of Meigs County 

firebrands drove the wolves away. The next day they found 
the sack of meal, which had been torn open, but the contents 
not destroyed. 

Such incidents did not often occur, and the people did not 
seem to apprehend much danger. Women and children often 
went through the woods, hunting servis berries and grapes, or 
frequently to hunt the cows, that would often stray from 
home, and were seldom molested. 


An account given by Mrs. Sarah Torrence of an incident 
worthy of note was read at the pioneer meeting in August, 
1879, by Mr. A. Gardner. Mrs. Torrence was a daughter of Mr. 
John Knight, who came to Meigs county in 1818. A Mr. 
John Harris, who lived in Bedford township, got Mr. Knight's 
son Daniel, a lad of only eleven years, to stay with Mrs. Har- 
ris while he made a trip to New Orleans. There were few 
families in Bedford township, and it was very lonesome for 
the young wife in the small cabin in the woods, where the 
wolves were heard nightly. So Mrs. Harris concluded to go 
down to her father's, Mr. John Smith, above the mouth of 
Leading creek, and a son of Mr. Bissell, who was younger 
than Daniel, was engaged to stay and care for the stock. One 
night early in March, as these boys were getting in a log to 
build a fire in the morning, young Knight slipped, and the log 
fell on him, breaking his thigh bone about the middle. Daniel 
told the Bissel boy to pull their straw bed down before the 
fire. Then he lay flat on his back, with one hand on each side 
and the fingers of each hand thrust through the cracks of the 
puncheon floor, directing the other boy to pull at his foot 
while he held on to the floor, until they actually set the bone 
in its place. He had buckskin pants and took some buckskin 
thongs and tied above and below the break, the pants serving 
as splints. Fortunately, Major Higley had gone out that day 

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Pioneer History of Meigs County 83 

to look after some stock, and called in to see how the boys 
were doing and to spend the night with them, and this was 
the plight in which he found them. They had corn bread of 
their own baking and venison. Mr. Higley examined the 
boy's leg and found that it was broken, and he then mounted 
his horse and rode to Mr. Knight's, the father of the boy, at 
Middleport, who immediately started to his son in the 
wilderness, going by way of Chester for Dr. Robinson to ac- 
company him. They knew the path as far as Bissell's, but no 
farther. They arrived there to find that Mr. Bissell was away 
from home, but Mrs. Bissell got out of bed at midnight, had 
her horse saddled, and piloted these two men through the dense 
forest to where the suffering boy lay, leaving her own little 
one asleep at home, and stayed with the boy until Mr. Knight 
returned and brought his wife and provisions. Mrs. Knight 
had to stay twenty-one days before they could take the boy 
home. Those were pioneer times. 

OF OHIO, ss.: 

April Term, in the Year 1819. 

Be it remembered. That at a term of Court of Common 
Pleas for the county of Meigs, begun and held at the tem- 
porary seat of justice: Present, Hon. Ezra Osborn, president, 
judge of the Eighth Judicial Circuit of the Court of Common 
Pleas for the State of Ohio ; and Horatio Strong, Fuller Elliot 
and James E. Phelps, Esqs., associate judges of the Court of 
Common Pleas for Meigs county, who produced their several 
commissions under the great seal of the State of Ohio, which 
were read in open court. 

Robert C. Barton was appointed clerk pro tem. of the said 
court in complying with the requisitions of the law. Samuel 

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84 Pioneer History of Meigs County 

F. Vinton was appointed prosecuting attorney for the present 
and succeeding terms. 
The court then adjourned until tomorrow at 9 o'clock. 

Ezra Osborn. 

Second Day. — The court met pursuant to adjournment. 
Present: The same judges as of yesterday. The clerk, on 
motion, produced a bond as sureties for the faithful discharge 
of his duties. The same was approved, and he was duly 
sworn into office, and the senior associate was directed to 
deliver the said bond to the county treasurer. 

On motion, it was ordered that license be renewed to James 
E. Phelps to keep a house of entertainment at his new dwell- 
ing house on his complying with the requisitions of the law. 
A notice was duly served on James E. Phelps and Fuller 
Elliot, Esqs., associates of the court, by Horatio Strong, senior 
associate, to meet at the temporary seat of justice on the 
twelfth day of April, instant, for the purpose of appointing a 
recorder of the county, according to law. Ordered by the 
court that the clerk within twenty days give notice to the 
trustees of each township that they make a selection of grand 
and petit jurors, and that they return to him thereof to him 
in twenty days thereafter. And he is required to have them 
subpoenaed to attend in their respective capacities as jurors 
at this place on the first day of next term, by the sheriff. On 
motion, ordered that licenses be granted to George Russell 
for a ferry across Leading creek where he now keeps it on his 
complying with the regulations of the law. 

On motion, ordered that license be granted to Elisha Rath- 
burn, of Rutland, to solemnize the bonds of matrimony. On 
the application of James H. Hayman and Alexander Miller 
for the appointment of county surveyor, the court was equally 
divided and the application laid over until the next term. 

Ordered by the court that the clerk pro tem. use his private 
seal for all processes issuing from court until a county seal 

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Pioneer History of Meigs County 85 

shall be provided. The court adjourned until half-past 1 
o'clock P. M. The court met pursuant to adjournment. Pres- 
ent: Horatio Strong, Fuller ElHot, James E. Phelps, Esqs., 
associate judges. On petition of Thomas Ridding, of Sutton, 
for a license to keep a house of entertainment at his dwelling 
house, ordered that the clerk give him a license on his com- 
plying with the requisitions of the law. The minutes being 
read and approved by the court and adjourned without day. 

Horatio Strong. 

April 12th, 1819. 

Pursuant to request, the associate judges assembled at the 
temporary seat of justice. Present: Horatio Strong, Fuller 
Elliot and James E. Phelps, Esqs., associate judges. 

Robert E. Barton was appointed recorder of Meigs county, 
and on producing his bond was duly sworn into office by the 
senior associate judge, the bond having been approved. The 
oath of office was administered as follows : I, Robert C. Bar- 
ton, do solemnly swear that I will faithfully and impartially 
discharge the duties of recorder of Meigs county according to 
the best of my abilities and understanding. Robert C. Barton. 

Subscribed April 12th, 1819. The oath to support the Con- 
stitution of the United States and the State of Ohio being also 
administered, the associates adjourned. 

Horatio Strong. 

State of Ohio, Meigs County, ss. 
July Term, 1819. 
Be it remembered, That on Monday, the nineteenth day of 
July, 1819, the Court of Common Pleas in said county, at the 
meeting house in the township of Salisbury — present, the 
Hon. Ezra Osborn, president judge; Horatio Strong, Fuller 
Elliot and James E. Phelps, associate judges — the venire for 
grand jurors was returned and the following jurors empan- 
eled, to- wit: Foreman, Daniel Rathbum; David Lindsey, 

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86 Pioneer History of Meigs County 

Adam Harpold, Jesse Worthing, Joel Smith, Silas Knight, 
James Shields, Jr., George Roush, Jas. Gibson, Calvin Marvin, 
John H. Sayre, Alvin Ogden, Joseph Hoit ; Major Reed, talis- 

Then follows the licensing of different men for various pur- 
poses, the trial of persons for various offenses, consisting 
largely of "fist-i-cuffs," and probate business is omitted. 

State of Ohio, Meigs County, ss. 
November Term, A. D. 1819. 

Be it remembered. That on Monday, the twenty-second day 
of November, in the year of our Lord, eighteen hundred and 
nineteen, the Court of Common Pleas met at the meeting 
house in Salisbury township. Present: The Hon. Ezra Os- 
born, president judge, and James E. Phelps and Fuller Elliot, 
associate judges, this, the last court for the first year in Meigs 
county, 1819. 

Review of proceedings by S. C. Larkin. 

The design of the following resume is to elucidate facts 
that relate to the history of Meigs county, but are not gener- 
ally understood. 

By a law of Congress, Section 29 in every township of six 
miles square in the Ohio Company's purchase should be re- 
served for ministerial purposes. The land upon which this 
meeting house stood belonged to Salisbury township, and the 
Courts of Common Pleas were held in it for two years, when, 
unfortunately, it was burned down. Mr. Levi Stedman, of 
Chester, invited the judges to hold court in his house. When 
the second set of commissioners met, they went where the 
court was held, and decided to locate the county seat, as Mr. 
Levi Stedman offered to make a good deed of land, enough to 
lay out a town. The offer was accepted. The county seat 
was located there, the town laid out and named Chester. The 
question was asked why the county seat was not located at 

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Pioneer History of Meigs County 87 

Middleport? Mr. Benjamin Smith and his wife Alma had 
agreed to donate as a gift the land for a town and to secure it 
by a good title deed. Smith had given a bond for $5000, with 
his brother, John Smith, and Samuel Everett as sureties, but 
it has been stated that upon reconsidering the matter, Mrs. 
Smith refused to acknowledge the deed, which she had a 
right to do, according to the law of Ohio. The commissioner 
did not bring suit against the sureties, as John Smith lived on 
his father's farm, and Samuel Everett was a young man not 
owning any real estate. The judges claimed that nothing 
could be realized more than cost of suit, and they should not 
be blamed for not ordering or permitting the commissioner, 
Eli Sigler, from commencing suit. S. C. L. 


The commissioners of said county met this day, to-wit, 
Levi Stedman and William Alexander, who, after being duly 
sworn by Archibald Murray, a justice of the peace for the 
county aforesaid, and lodging a certificate thereof in the 
office of the Court of Common Pleas for the said county, pro- 
ceeded to business. 

Benjamin Stout, duly elected sheriff of said county, pre- 
sented a bond, of which the following is a copy, which was 
approved and delivered to the county treasurer : 

Know all men by these presents : That I, Benjamin Stout, 
as principal, and Levi Stedman and Philip Jones, as sureties, 
all of the county of Meigs and State of Ohio, are held and 
firmly bound to Levi Stedman, William Alexander and Elijah 
Runner, commissioners of the county aforesaid, and to their 
successors in office in the full and just sum of four thousand 
dollars, current money of Ohio, for which sum well and truly 
to be paid, we bind ourselves, our heirs, executors and admin- 

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88 Pioneer History of Meigs County 

istrators firmly by these presents. Signed and sealed this 
thirteenth day of our Lord, one thousand eight hundred and 

The condition of the above obligation is such, that, whereas 
the above bounden Benjamin Stout was duly elected sheriff 
of the county aforesaid, on the fifth day of April, inst, and was 
also duly proclaimed as such on the twelfth day of April, to 
serve until the annual election in October next. Now, there- 
fore, if the said Benjamin Stout shall well and truly perform 
all the duties of sheriff of the county aforesaid and account 
for and pay over all the moneys by him collected according 
to law, then this obligation will be null and void; otherwise 
remain in full force and virtue. 

[Seal] Benjamin Stout. 
[Seal] Levi Stedman. 
[Seal] Philip Jones. 

Signed, sealed and delivered in presence of Robert C. Bar- 

Philip Jones, of Salisbury, was appointed county treasurer 
to serve until the annual meeting in June next, and having 
produced bond for the faithful discharge of his duties the 
same was approved. Robert C. Barton was appointed clerk 
(pro tem). 

Resolved, That the tavern of James E. Phelps, of Salisbury, 
and that of Thomas Redding, of Sutton, pay six dollars each 
for a license for one year ensuing. And that George Russell 
pay two dollars for a renewal of license to keep a ferry over 
Leading creek where he now keeps it. 

June 7th, 1819. Commissioners met this day. 

Present: Levi Stedman, William Alexander and Elijah 
Runner. The last named was duly qualified by William 
Alexander, a justice of the peace, and a certificate thereof 
lodged with the clerk of Common Pleas Court. Benjamin 
Stout, of Orange township, was appointed collector of the 
county tax for the year 1819, and Philip Jones was appointed 

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Pioneer History of Meigs County 89 

county treasurer for one year from this date, and having pro- 
duced a bond for the faithful performance of his duties in 
office, the same was approved. 

Resolved, That six sections formerly attached to the township 
of Morgan, and which are within the county of Meigs, be, and 
the same are hereby attached to the township of Salem. 

Resolved, That the three sections lately belonging to Che- 
shire township and numbered 24, 30 and 36, being within the 
county of Meigs, be and the same are hereby attached to the 
township of Rutland. And that the three sections lately be- 
longing to the township of Cheshire and numbered 6, 12 and 
18, being in the county of Meigs, be and the same are hereby 
attached to Salisbury township. 

Resolved, That the original surveyed Township No. 9, in 
Range 13, be and the same is hereby attached to the township 
of Orange. 

Rates of ferriage across the Ohio river that persons licensed 
to ferry are entitled to demand, viz : Each foot man, 10 cents ; 
for one man and horse, 20 cents; for a loaded wagon and 
team, 100 cents; for any other four-wheeled carriage, 75 
cents; for a loaded cart and team, SO cents; for an empty 
wagon and team, 37^ cents; for an empty cart or sled or 
sleigh and team, 18f cents ; for every horse, mare, mule or ass 
or head of neat cattle, 5 cents ; for every sheep or hog, 3 cents. 

Rates of ferriage across Leading creek : For each foot man, 
6J cents; for a man and horse, 12^ cents; for a loaded wagon 
and team, 50 cents ; for any other four-wheeled carriage, 37^ 
cents; for loaded cart, 25 cents; for an empty cart and team, 
sled or sleigh and team, 18f cents; for every horse, mare, 
mule, ass or head of meat cattle, 5 cents; for every hog or 
sheep, 3 cents. 

Resolved, That ten dollars be allowed to the clerk of the 
Court of Common Pleas for services not otherwise provided 
for, and one dollar for opening the poll books from April 5th 
to June 7th, 1819. And that one dollar and sixty-seven cents 

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90 Pioneer History of Meigs County 

be allowed to Benjamin Stout, Esq., sheriflf of said county, for 
similar services. 

Resolved, That there be allowed to the clerk of the Court 
of Common Pleas for the ensuing year the sum of fifty dollars 
in full for all services wherein the State may fail in prosecu- 
tion, the same to be paid quarterly. 

Resolved, That Robert C. Barton is appointed clerk of the 
court for the ensuing year. 

Resolved, That there be allowed to the sheriff of the Court 
of Common Pleas for the ensuing year the sum of forty dollars 
in full for services wherein the State may fail in prosecutions 
which may be commenced, and that the sum of three dollars 
be allowed for opening and certifying poll books, the same to 
be paid quarterly. 

Resolved, That all persons required by law to bring returns 
to the office of the county commissioners or clerk of the Court 
of Common Pleas be allowed 5 cents per mile for travel — the 
same for commissioners — and $2.25 cents per day for services. 

Proceedings approved by the Court of Common Pleas, July 
24th, 1819. 

The board adjourned until the twenty-first of July, 1819. 

An application was made this day to divide the township of 

Resolved, That said township of Orange be divided as fol- 
lows: Beginning on the Ohio river at the southeast corner 
of Section 29, Township 3, Range 11, west to the north- 
west corner of Section No. 5, Township 3, Range 12; thence 
north to the county line; thence east with said line to the 
Ohio river; thence with the meanderings of said river to the 
place of beginning; and that the name of the township be 

Then follows a detailed account of expenses, much of which 
had to be paid in county orders. 

December 6th, 1819. At a meeting of commissioners, pres- 
ent were Samuel Downing and Philip Jones, this being the 

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Pioneer History of Meigs County 91 

first meeting of the commissioners since the October election 
of 1819. 

They proceeded to draw lots agreeable to law, Robert C. 
Barton being authorized to draw for William Alexander in 
case he was not present. In drawing of lots, it appeared that 
William Alexander was to serve one year, Philip Jones two 
years and Samuel Downing three years. 

An act for levying tax on land, passed February 8th, 1820 : 

Section 2. That all lands subject to taxation shall be rated 
or classed as first, second and third rate, agreeably to the fol- 
lowing rules, to-wit : In all cases where the largest proportion 
of a tract of land is of the best quality, it shall be denominated 
first rate and shall be taxed annually as such. And when the 
largest proportion of a tract of land is inferior to the best and 
superior to the worst quality, it shall be denominated second 
rate and shall be charged with a tax annually as such. 

Section 3. Be it further enacted. That there shall be levied 
and paid yearly and every year on each hundred acres of land 
of the first rate one dollar and fifty cents. 

On each hundred acres of second rate land, one dollar ; and 
on each hundred acres of third rate land fifty cents, and in the 
same proportion for any greater or less number of acres. 

Section 48. Be it enacted. That 25 per cent, of the net 
amount of taxes collected shall be paid into treasury of such 
county for county purposes. 

On February 24th, 1824, a law was passed altering the 
amount of tax on the different rates of land, as follows : 

First rate land, $1.25. Second rate land, 87^ cents. Third 
rate was 56 cents. 

Section 2. Twenty per cent, of the net tax collected to be 
paid into the county treasury. 

February 23, 1824, another act of the Legislature fixes the 
rates of stud horses not to exceed the rate for which he stands 
for the season, but on all other horses, mares, mules and asses 

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92 Pioneer History of Meigs County 

three years old and upwards a sum not to exceed 30 cents per 
year. On all neat cattle three years old and upwards, 10 cents 
per head. On other property made taxable by this act, not to 
exceed one-half of 1 per cent, of the appraised value. 

The reason why the substance of the tax laws has been 
quoted here is in order to show that in the early years of 
Meigs county and in former years the Legislature of Ohio 
always limited the amount of tax to be raised, giving the com- 
missioners of a county no authority to go beyond such limits. 
Great care was taken not to allow corporations to run the 
people into debt, as they now do, entailing upon future genera- 
tions a heavy debt, a grievous burden to be borne. 

The amount of revenue for Meigs county was not sufficient 
to pay expenses, and orders on the county treasury became so 
depreciated as to bring only SO cents on the dollar and became 
an article of trade. Merchants would pay in goods, 50 cents 
for a dollar, and sell the same in money to taxpayers, who 
would pay tax with it to the amount of its face. What little 
money was paid into the treasury was used for expenses that 
orders would not pay. 

The method of grading land into first, second and third 
grades and for fixing the amount of tax for each 100 acres, 
according to the respective rates for state purposes, was 
enacted February 18th, 1804, and was continued with slight 
alterations up to the first years of Meigs county as heretofore 
mentioned, but no part of it was allowed for county purposes. 

The law of levies for county purposes by assessing a tax 
on stock, etc., was continued at about the same rate until 
after Meigs county was organized, which law was enacted 
February 19th, 1805. 

At the pioneer meeting in 1885 Mrs. Dolly Knight had a 
most interesting paper concerning early days about Chester, 
from which some extracts are taken of facts not included in 
the former papers. "In 1798 Peter Grow and Levi Stedman 

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Pioneer History of Meigs County 93 

built their first cabins in what afterwards became the town 
of Chester, but they did not remove their families until a year 
later. Mrs. Grow died before the cabins were ready for occu- 
pancy, but the father, with six motherless children, came to 
the place of their future home. Mrs. Stedman shared with 
her husband all the privation of those primitive times. She,, 
too, had a 'bear story,' for one time when Mr. Stedman was 
away from home she heard something disturbing the pigs in 
the pen and discovered a bear. She resorted to firebrands, 
throwing them vigorously. The bear retreated, not getting 
fresh pork for supper. Many families who came from Ver- 
mont and Massachusetts and located on Shade river, in and 
about Chester, in the first years of 1800 ought to be included 
in pioneer history. Thomas L. Halsey, 1792, bought land of 
the Ohio Company's purchase; Jacob and Joel Cowdery in 
1807 and 1808, and the Branch, the Rice and Walker families 
and others. Those families from the New England states 
brought their ideas of education with them, and until they 
could have a common school they would work hard by day 
and in the evening teach their children. They succeeded in 
bringing up some intelligent sons and daughters. Their books 
were few, but well chosen and carefully read. After Meigs 
county was made and organized, with the county seat located 
at Chester, the principal lawyers to attend the sessions of 
Common Pleas Court were Samuel F. Vinton and Thomas 

In various communications that have been submitted to us 
there has been much of the same character related by Mrs. 
Knight, so we have taken the liberty of making extracts from 
her excellent paper instead of using the entire history. — S. C. L. 

It is a serious fact that among the first early settlers in 
what is now Meigs county and who bought land, that no sub- 
sequent account of their lives or families has been obtained, 
an omission which at this late day it is almost impossible to 

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94 Pioneer History of Meigs County 

supply after the lapse of nearly a century. We find in the 
records of deeds of Washington county and of Gallia county 
names of men who bought land and made homes in what is 
now Meigs county. Ezra and Joshua Chapman and Levi 
Chapman purchased land dating to 1787. Ezra and Joshua 
Chapman lived and died in Letart township. Henry Roush 
bought thirty-six acres of land in 1808 in Letart. Adam Har- 
pold, in 1812, a farm in Letart township. Thomas Alexan- 
der, first, in 1803. After 1810, there seems to have been a 
steady influx of families from Virginia, Pennsylvania and 
New York, as well as the earlier emigrants from New Eng- 
land. The names of Sayre, Hall and Price are represented by 
a large number of people living in Meigs county. 

George W. Cooper was a son of Abraham Cooper and Mar- 
garet Cooper, nee Wetzel, daughter of Lewis Wetzel, of fron- 
tier notoriety. Mr. Cooper lived in Chester several years as a 
salesman in Colonel David Barber's store. Moving to Middle- 
port, he was an active member of the Meigs County Pioneer 
Society, being the first corresponding secretary of the same. 
Mr. Cooper was one of the most upright, reliable of men and 
universally respected. He died in Middleport, Ohio, in 1878. 

Persis O. Cooper, nee Blackstone, wife of George W. Cooper, 
was born in Athens, Ohio, May 22nd, 1822. She was a grand- 
daughter of Major John White. She died at New Carlisle, 
Ohio, July 23rd, 1894. 

Major John White was born in 1758 in Pomfret, Conn., and 
was a soldier in the Revolutionary army. He was said to be 
one of the bodyguards at the execution of Major Andre, and 
was familiar with all the circumstances connected with the 
attempted betrayal of the army by Benedict Arnold. He was 
one of a company that landed at Marietta in 1789 and lived in 
the blockhouse, serving at times as an Indian scout. While 
here he married Priscilla Duval. After his marriage he move4 

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Pioneer History of Meigs County 95 

to Waterford, subsequently to Athens county, until the death 
of his wife in 1838, when he came to his son-in-law's and 
daughter's, Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Fair, of Chester, Meigs 
county, with whom he remained until his decease, in his 
eighty-seventh year. He is buried in the Chester cemetery. 

Samuel Ervin built a cabin near the site of what is known 
as the "Horton boatyard" in 1807, being the first settler of the 
town of Pomeroy. Amos Partlow came in 1809 and built his 
cabin about where the Excelsior Salt Works are situated, and 
that was the second house. The third cabin was erected by 
Frank Hughes on the ground where the court house stands, 
and John Mason put a cabin on Sugar run, being the fourth 
dwelling house in Pomeroy. Mr. Ervin vacated his house in 
favor of John Bailey and built another cabin at the mouth of 
Kerr's run; lived there in 1815, when he sold to Nathan 
Clark, who was therefore about the fifth settler of the town of 
Pomeroy. Some of the above mentioned improvements were 
sold to other parties. Clark sold his improvement to Robert 
Bailey or Randall Stivers, who afterwards sold to Major Dill. 
Nial Nye bought a lot of Dill and built the first store house, 
where he kept the first post office in Pomeroy in 1827. Mr. 
John Knight bought the improvement made by Mr. Ervin of 
a Mr. Miles, and Samuel Grant bought the Partlow improve- 

Robert Bailey, Elihu Higley, John Bailey, David Bailey, 
Hedgeman Hysell, Leonard Hysell and Elam Higley met at 
the house of Samuel Ervin and from there started to Gallipolis 
and volunteered under General Tupper to serve in the Wa'* 
of 1812. 

Thomas Ervin, Robert Bailey, David Bailey and John Bai- 
ley were pioneer keelboat men, who boated salt from Ka- 
nawha to Pittsburg, the boat being owned by P. Green and 
Jack Allen. 

The first public road cut through the woods from Gallipolis 
to Chester was opened by Samuel Ervin, Asahel Cooley and 

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96 Pioneer History of Meigs County 

Hamilton Kerr. [Note. — ^The date of this road is not given, 
but there were settlements on Leading creek and at Athens 
as early as at Chester, and may have been opened as early by 
way of these settlements from Gallipolis to Athens.] It should 
be borne in mind that many roads were barely marked out for 
horse or foot men that were never opened for teams. Mr. 
Thomas Matthews settled in Chester in 1798 or 1799, and he 
told me (Larkin) while we were in company passing over the 
hill on the Rutland road to Middleport that there was where 
he and Hamilton Kerr and some other men whose names are 
forgotten located a road to Shade river, crossing Leading 
creek where the K. & M. Railroad crosses that stream, run- 
ning immediately up the point of that hill and following the 
ridge all the way west of Middleport and Pomeroy, but that 
road was never opened for teams. S. C. L. 

Mr. Ervin stated that in 1814 the Ohio river was very high, 
so that his father, Samuel Ervin and family, were compelled 
to leave the cabin and take shelter in a cave, where they lived 
seven days and nights, in much discomfort, as it was in the 
month of February. 

Rutland, Ohio, March 29th, 1878. 
To the Teacher and Scholars of the School in Pleasant Val- 
We propose to write a few items in relation to the early 
history and settlement of the little spot of earth that appears 
to be of so much importance and which in reality is so very 
interesting to the inhabitants of what is now called Pleasant 
Valley, the lawn where now stands the seat of learning and 
capitol for this community, together with its surroundings up 
and down the vale — 

When wild turkeys and deer, 

And old black bears that prowled. 

Were sought by hunters here, 

Though wolves as sentries howled. 

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Pioneer History of Meigs County 97 

This place in those olden days was called the White Oak 
Flats. Now it has been three score and ten years since the 
first settlement was made within its borders. I will relate a 
few incidents. Soon after the Hon. Brewster Higley settled 
with his family near the mouth of the middle fork of Leading 
creek in the spring of 1799, and not far from the mouth of 
Great run, which drains the water of this little valley into the 
channel of that little creek, Mr. Levi Stedman had estab- 
lished himself on Shade river at a point where Chester now 
stands and had built a mill for the grinding of wheat for the 
settlers. It became necessary that a road should be opened 
between the two places. Accordingly, it was agreed that Mr. 
Levi Stedman and a party from Shade river and a company 
from Leading creek, under the direction of Mr. Brewster 
Higley, should meet near the place where little George Russell 
lived at the forks of Thomas creek. The parties having met, 
proceeded to mark out the road to their respective homes. 
The Leading creek party marked the way very near where H 
is now established. When they passed through a very thick 
wood on what is now the Stow farm and on through the low 
gap to a place by the west line of the McGuire land, it being 
in June and night had overtaken them, the darkness was in- 
tense, not a gleam of light to direct them, when one of their 
number thought of an expedient, which was to get into the 
channel of that little stream, exceedingly crooked as it was, 
and to follow its meanderings to the mouth, which was open 
ground, so they all got safely home. This occurred in 1804 . 
or 1805. 

The first settler in this valley was Abel Larkin, who moved 
into his cabin April 1st, 1808, on the northeast corner of 
Section No. 7, in Rutland township. The second settler was 
Joseph Richardson, a little west, in 1809, who sold to. Samuel 
Danforth in 1811. Mr. Danforth resided there until his death 
in 1845. The place had been occupied by different families 
until now, 1878, it is owned by John F. Stevens. Richard 

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98 Pioneer History of Meigs County 

Cook and James McGuire came with their families from Mari- 
etta in 1813 and settled on Section No. 1. Eari P. Archer 
came about that time and bought land in 1814, and EHhu 
Higley married Nancy Cook and settled on Section No. 2 in 
1816. Bereman Bailey located a farm a little north in 1827. 
Hazael Lathrop, who framed more buildings in this neigh- 
borhood than any other man in his time, came from New 
York in 1817. He married Catharine, a daughter of Billy 
Wright, and lived in a cabin on the eastern border of Section 
No. 8. He moved farther west in 1825, but after seventy 
years that strip of land is known as the "Lathrop Place." 

Mr. Richard Cook died July 17th, 1840, aged seventy-three 
years. His wife, Irene Cook, nee Hodge, died October 7th, 
1839, aged seventy-three years. 

About 1812 James McGuire bought a farm in Pleasant Val- 
ley. He was born in Ireland August 14th, 1777. He emigrated 
to Marietta and there married the Widow Murray, who had 
four children — ^William, John, Eliza and Matilda. Mrs. Mc- 
Guire's maiden name was Mary Garnet. She was a sister of 
the mother of John Brough, the famous war Governor of Ohio. 
A little story was current about Esquire Brough, father of the 
Governor, of his queer decisions when an acting magistrate. 
He made the witness pay the cost of prosecution in a case of 
larceny. A mechanic living in Harmar and working in Marietta 
had a canoe to go over to his work and back for his meals. 
Persons troubled him by taking away his canoe when he 
wanted it. He therefore gave notice that he would prosecute 
the first one that did it. So the next day a man came along 
and asked where such a man had gone. He saw him take the 
canoe and go out of the mouth of the Muskingum. "Did you 
see him do that?" "Yes." Dropping his tools, he went to 
Esquire Brough for a warrant, and the man and the witness 
were soon before the court. There the witness said he did 
not see the man take the canoe, that he said so "for a joke." ; 
The judge figured a little and said, "I find the prisoner notii 

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Pioneer History of Meigs County 


guilty. So much cost for the witness to pay." Then, address- 
ing the witness, ordered him to pay it over quick or he would 
send him to jail for contempt of court, so the witness forked 
it over. 

The Original Forest of Rutland. 
S. C. Larkin. Dr. Frank Parker. 

Common name. 


White Oak. 

Quercus Alba. 

Black, or Yellow Oak. 

Quercus Touelona. 

Red Oak. 

Quercus Rubra. 

Chestnut Oak. 

Quercus Castaneo. 

Swamp Oak. 

Quercus Discolor. 

Pin Oak. 

Quercus Polastris. 

Laurel-leaf Oak. 

Quercus Imbricano. 

Shell-bark Hickory— Small 


Caya Micro-a. 

Shell-bark Hickory — Large 


Caya Alba. 

Bitter Pignut— Soft Shell. 

Caya Amara. 

Black Walnut. 

Fuglans Nigra. 


Fuglans Cinerao. 


Castaned Visca. 

White Elm. 

Ulmas Americana. 

Red, or Slippery Elm. 

Ulma Fulva. 


Platuus Occidentalis. 


Fagus Peptugintalis. 


Betula Nigra. 

Bass-wood, or Linn. 

Filia Americana. 


Prunus Serptiva. 


Aesculas Flava. 

Box Elder. 

Negando Acervides. 

Cotton Wood. 

Populus Monilifera. 

Yellow Pine. 

Pinus Milus. 

Red Cedar. 

Juniperus Virginicana, 


Magnolia Acuminata. 


Albies Canadensis. 

Peppuridge, or Gum. 

Agarsa Multiflora. 


Dios Virginiana. 


Populus Premuloides. 




Pioneer History of Meigs County 


Honey Locust. 

Yellow, or Black Locust. 


Sour Wood. 

Horn Bean, or Iron Wood. 

Servis Berry. 

Sweet Pignut. 

Poplar, or Tulip. 

White Ash. 

Blue Ash. 

Crab Apple. 

Black Haw. 



Red Bud. 


Blue Beach. 

Dog Wood. 


Witch Hazel. 

Spice Bush. 

Prickly Ash. 








Sugar Tree. 

Soft Maple. 



Green Briar. 

Eglantine Rose. 

White Hydrange. 

Arrow Root. 




Sassafra Officinalis. 
Gleditschia Triacanthes. 
Robinia Pendracanthus. 
Morus Rubra. 
Oxigdendrum Arboreum. 
Ostrya Virginica. 
Amelanckier Canadaensis. 
Caya Glabadendroir. 
Lilliodendron Tulipifera. 
Fraxicanus Americanus. 
Fraxicanus Quadrangulata. 
Pyrnes Coronarid. 
Vesburnem Prunifolium. 
Prunus Americana. 
Asimena Triloba. 
Cercis Canadensis. 
Enonymas Stropurpurens. 
Caspunnus Americana. 
Cornus Florida. 
Salix Alba. 

Hamamillis Virginica. 
Benjoin Oderiferen. 
Lanthorylum Americana. 
Kalmia Augustifolia. 

Rhus Canadiensis. 
Sambucus Canadaensis. 
Dioca Palustris. 
Corylus Occidentalis. 
Staphylla Trifolia. 
Celtis Occidentalis. 
Acer Saccharinum. 
Acer Rubrum. 
Rubus Wilborns. 
Rubus Occidentalis. 
Amilox Rotundafolia. 
Rosa Rubignosa. 
Hydrangea Arboresceus. 
Viburuma Acerifolime. 

Gaylussaceid Resinosa. 
Vaccinium Pennsylvanicum. 

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Pioneer History of Meigs County 101 

Wild Tea. Ceanothis Americanus. 

Frost Grape. Vitis Cordifolia. 

Hill Grape. Vitis Aestivalis. 

Bitter Sweet. Celastrus Celastricus. 

^oison Ivy. Rhus Toxicodendron. 

V^irginia Creeper. Ampelopsis Lugnesolia. 

Trumpet Flower. Tecoma Rudicaus. 

Yellow Perila. Lanthrhoriza Aperfolia. 

Pea Vine. Ipomea Prisforea. 


The pea vine, though small, is said to have been excellent 
Dod for buffalo and deer, and was freely devoured by the 
orses, cattle and sheep of the early settlers. It grew plenti- 
lUy in the Rutland woods, and was much depended on as 
>od for stock in warm weather. The wild tea is a small bush 
Jiat grows on the hills. The first settlers gathered it when in 
fcloom in June, dried it, and used it instead of tea from China, 
land considered it a good substitute. The wild cherry was a 
noble specimen of the forest trees, while it did not grow as 
large as some others, the poplar or oak, yet it has always 
been highly prized for the fine texture of its grain and bright 
color of its wood. It was much sought after by cabinet mak- 

A few cucumber trees grew on Section 28, but have disap- 
peared. S. C. L. 

Times of the Dogwood being in full bloom as record of 
early or late seasons: 























































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102 Pioneer History of Meigs County 






Missed record. 















































April- ; 

, 30th 



May ' 








































































This record of the Dogwood blossoming is because it 
blooms with more uniformity than any other tree, showing 
late or early spring, and the foregoing table has been care- 
fully kept, year by year. S. C. L. 

The name Rutland was given to the township through the 
influence of five of its citizens who came from Rutland, Ver- 
mont, and Rutland, Massachusetts. Their names were, viz.: 
John Miles, Luke Brine, Abel Larkin, Brewster Higley and 
Shubael Nobles. The village of Rutland was laid out in 1828, 
by Barzillai H. Miles and Abijah Hubbell, Jr., and the survey 
was made by Samuel Halliday, and the acknowledgment of 
the deeds for the streets before Abel Larkin, Associate Judge, 
August 20th, 1828. The original lots consisted of one-fourth 
of an acre in Section No. 14, and fractions of Nos. 1 and 7. 
Other lots have been added from Section No. 8 and No. 7. 

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THii .,:,vf Y^tt 



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Auditor of Meigs G>unty Twenty-four Years. 

Auditor of Meigs G>unty in I860. 

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Pioneer History of Meigs County 103 . 


Mr. Samuel Halliday came from Scotland, fresh with educa- 
tional honors from the University of Edinburgh, and en route 
to a professorship in the Ohio University at Athens, had by 
the difficulties of travel in a new country been impeded in 
his progress, and by one of those strange events in life was 
stranded in the little country place of Rutland, where he found 
his life work. He was soon engaged in teaching, and estab- 
lished a reputation for success in giving instruction to his 
pupils. Judge Ephraim Cutler sent his two sons, Manasseh 
and William P., to attend the "Halliday School,'' boarding 
them with the Larkins. Gen. Holcomb sent his son Anselm 
to be taught in the Scotchman's College at Rutland. Mr. 
Halliday married Miss Eliza Parker, a daughter of William 
Parker, an intelligent pioneer, thus locating himself as a citi- 
zen, he entered into the plans for increasing the public utili- 
ties. He surveyed and laid out the village of Rutland, and 
surveyed and laid out the lots in the Miles graveyard. He 
was influential in the erection of the two-story brick school- 
house. When the county seat of Meigs county was located 
in Chester, William Weldon was the first Auditor, and after 
one year Mr. Samuel Halliday was elected Auditor, and served 
the county in that office for twenty-four successive years. He 
moved to Pomeroy when it was made the seat of justice, but 
afterwards Mr. Halliday moved to Southern Illinois, where 
Mrs. Eliza Halliday died. His sons were engaged in business 
in Cairo, having accumulated considerable wealth, and Mr. 
Halliday spent a few years with them. 

He returned to Ohio, bought a farm in Gallia county, mar- 
ried a widow lady, Mrs. Braley, and passed his last days in 
comfortable, honorable retirement. "The memory of the just 
is blessed." 

The brick school-house, referred to above, was used for 
all kinds of public assemblies, religious or political, as well as 
lectures on temperance or abolition. There was not a meeting 

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104 Pioneer History of Meigs County 

house in the township, so this house was a preaching place 
for all denominations, when the services would not interfere 
with the school. 

A payment of five dollars was made by the township trus- 
tees for the privilege of holding elections in this school build- 

Spelling schools and singing schools met in this "town hall" 
and young people enjoyed the social opportunity. 

There was a debating club, of considerable importance in 
helping young men to try their skill ^ oratory, or sharpen 
their wits by controversy. They had' rules that secured to 
them an exclusive selection of membership. 

Many intellectual contests were 'held there by the young 
men engaged in debating. The growth of minds, and the 
friendship of hearts, nursed in that building, will continue 
while life shall last with those thus associated. 


The severest wind-storm ever known in Rutland from its 
first settlement, came on Sunday afternoon, October 29th, 
1826. The school-house just mentioned suffered greatly. The 
upper story was swept off entirely, and the roof only was ever 
replaced. The strong current of this wind was not more than 
a quarter mile in width, showing greater strength in some 
places than in others in its course, which was a little south of 
east. It came from Salem township, but did little damage 
until reaching the brick house of Felix Benedict, the upper 
part of which was blown down. In the village of Rutland, a 
frame house, the residence of Mr. Beebe, was blown all to 
pieces, but fortunately the family had gone out of the house, 
and so escaped with their lives. Passing over a hill a half 
mile east, which was covered with heavy timber, it completely 
felled the standing trees. Then pitching over another hill 
into the valley of Hysell run, it removed all the timber except 

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Pioneer History of Meigs County 105 

a few saplings that were not twisted off. At the base of the 
hill stood a log cabin, the home of Royal Hysell. There were 
nine persons inside when the storm began, Mr. Royal Hysell 
and family, and Mr. James McGuire, Sr. The house was 
leveled to a log or two at the bottom, but no one was hurt. 
Passing over Thomas Fork, near the residence of Charles 
Russell, the wind felled all the heavy timber on the hillside, 
and then passed on to the Ohio river, where the Whitlock's 
lived, and across the river into Virginia, and report came of 
its destructive path many miles into the country. 

The first school in the first school-house in Salisbury town- 
ship was taught by Samuel Denny, from Massachusetts, who 
also helped build the school-house. The school cosisted of 
nine scholars, viz.: James Smith, John Smith, Sarah Kerr 
and Christena Niswonger, these four from near the mouth of 
Leading creek, and five children from Judge Higley's family. 
This term of school was in the winter of 1801-1802. Miss 
Electa Higley, afterwards Mrs. Benjamin Williams, was the 
woman to teach in that school-house. Mr. Denny taught one 
year in a house that belonged to Widow Case. 

Mr. Denny delivered the first oration at a celebration of 
the 4th of July, in 1806. He stood on a mound not far from 
the Case house. 

Mr. Denny left Ohio in 1810, and returned to Massachusetts, 
where he married and died there. 

Miss Fanny Smith taught school there, in 1811. She was 
married afterwards to Mr. Asa Maples. Probably the next 
school in the order of time was taught by James G. Green, a 
preacher, from Kentucky in 1809. 

Miss Uretta Benedict had a school in a blacksmith's shop, 
built by Mr. Rufus Wells, but who had moved to Wilkesville. 
This was in 1811. The teacher was afterwards the wife of 
Cornelius Merrill. In 1812, Elisha Rathburn taught a school 
in a house belonging to Samuel Danforth that stood near the 

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106 Pioneer History of Meigs County 

present dwelling of John F. Stevens. In 1812, a school-house 
was built on land now owned by Mr. George V. Lasher, and 
stood a few rods west of the old blacksmith shop. Miss Polly 
Wyatt, a lady from Athens, taught school in this neighbor- 
hood in 1812. 

In 1816, a school-house was erected on land one hundred 
feet north of the southeast corner of Section No. 8, now owned 
by S. C. Larkin. 

This house was built of logs, hewed or dressed on the inside 
as far up as the joists, with a stone chimney built on the out- 
side, while the cracks between the logs were chinked with 
small pieces of wood or stone and daubed on the outside with 
mud. The windows for light were made by cutting out one- 
half of the upper side of the log at the proper height, and one- 
half of the log next above, on the under side, so as to match. 
Instead of glass, paper was fastened on, and then greased so 
as to admit the light. This was done on two sides of the 
house, and benches were made for the children to sit on, and 
boards laid on pins driven into the logs below the windows 
were for writing tables. The floor was made of boards, and 
loose boards were laid on joists overhead. The roof was made 
according to the common log-cabin style, by having eave- 
bearers and buttling poles to hold the long shingles in proper 
place. Nails were scarce and few were used in building. 

The first teacher in this house was David Lindsey, who 
taught in the winter of 1816 and 1817. He then settled on the 
east branch of Thomas Fork, near the Rutland and Chester 
road. His successor as a teacher was Selah Barrett, who 
came from Vermont, bringing a young wife with him. They 
moved into the school-house and taught the winter school. 
His habit was to rise early, cut wood, make a fire, eat breakfast, 
and then move the household goods into the loft each morning 
before school hours. This was in November, 1817, and the 
winter 1818. 

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Pioneer History of Meigs County 107 

Brewster Higley, Jr., and his sister, Susan Higley, were 
teachers at some time in this log school-house. Mr. Samuel 
Halliday taught many terms in a house on the school lot, and 
continued to teach in different neighborhoods until the brick 
school house was built, where he taught until his election as 
Auditor of Meigs county, which office he held for twenty-four 
years, having been elected in 1825. 

"First school-house was a small log cabin, built about 1809 
on the ground now occupied by the lower graveyard in Mid- 
dleport. The first teacher in that house was Jared Gaston, in 
1810. The second teacher was Sally Higley, afterwards the 
wife of Daniel C. McNaughton, and the next term of school 
was taught by John Gilliland, who continued to teach about 
one year. The second school-house was built of hewed logs 
a short distance above Leading creek, on the Ministerial Sec- 
tion, and was designed for a meeting house, as well as a 
school-house. It was in this house that the first Courts of 
Common Pleas were held for the county of Meigs in the year 
1819.'' Recollections, John C. Hysell, Esq., who lived with 
his father where the Rutland road came out to the river at 
the mouth of Bone Hollow, their home for eight or nine years, 
while he was a boy of sixteen years. 

Joel Lowther was born in Loudon county, Virginia, August 
4th, 1741. He was a Revolutionary soldier and drew a pen- 
sion. He made his home at the house of John Stevens in 
Rutland, and died there November 7th, 1853. After his death, 
the Military Record was examined by Jesse Hubbell, then 
acting Justice of the Peace, who found that record made him 
one year older than his own account, which made him 112 
years, 3 months and 3 days old, at the time of his death. 

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108 Pioneer History of Meigs County 


December 1st, 1817, the families of John Grant, Sr., and 
wife, Sarah Boltwood Grant; their sons, Samuel Grant, wife 
and children ; John Knight and wife, nee Agnes Grant, landed 
at Silver run, Salisbury township, having had a long and 
tedious journey from Maine, which was made, first in wagons 
as far as Wellsburg on the upper Ohio, where a flatboat was 
constructed in which they floated down the river to Silver run, 
their destination. With them came a lad, John Pierce, whose 
home had been with the senior Grant for several years. 
Landress Grant, a bachelor brother, came also. 

John Grant, Sr., died in June, 1820, and Mrs. Sarah Grant 
died in March, 1824. They are buried in the "Miles Ceme- 
tery," side by side. 

Samuel Grant married in Maine, Hannah Davis, and they 
landed with a family of eight children, viz. : 

Oliver Grant, married Mary Jones, daughter of Philip Jones, 
of Middleport, and moved to Iowa. 

There was an invalid son of Samuel Grant, who lived to 
mature years, but died many years ago. 

Royal C. Grant, the inventor and machinist of Middleport, 
O., married Lovina Fuller, who died many years ago. 

William Grant married Esther Hobart and settled in Middle- 
port, O. He was associated with his brothers, John and Sam- 
uel Grant, Jr., in the steam flouring mill, one of the finest mills 
ever built in Meigs county. 

Ebenezer Tuttle Grant married Sarah Jones, daughter of 
Philip Jones, of Middleport. They moved to Minnesota. 

Lydia Grant was married to Phineas Robinson of Chester, 
died many years ago, leaving two children, a son William 
Fenn Robinson, and the daughter Elizabeth was married to 
George Grorw, grandson of Judge Grow. 

John Grant married Mary Roup, both died many years ago. 

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Pioneer History of Meigs County 109 

Eliza Grant was the wife of William Wright, of Kentucky. 

Cyrus Grant married Charlotte Hebard, of Athens county. 
He was known as Col. Grant, for many years identified with 
the business interests of Pomeroy. Samuel Grant, St., and all 
of his family are dead. 

Mr. William Hobart came from Spencer, Tioga county, 
N. Y., in 1818, to Leading creek. Mrs. Hobart, nee Hugg, 
with two children, were with him. They had five children 
born in Meigs county. The older children were Isaac Hobart 
and Phebe, married to Mr. Hanlin, of Middleport, O. Esther 
Hobart became the wife of William Grant and reared a family 
of marked intellectual force. California, a daughter, was for 
years a noted teacher in the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, 
and passed away in 1906, deeply mourned. Electa Grant spent 
some years teaching in the "New Church" Academy in Phila- 
delphia. Julia was the wife of James Boggess, a prominent 
citizen of Meigs, and has been County Treasurer. William 
Grant, Jr., was a farmer in Great Bend, Kansas, a successful 
man. Lucy Grant, the youngest child, is a teacher of kinder- 
garten schools. 

There were two children of Samuel Grant and wife born 
after they came to Ohio, viz. : William Grant, who married 
Esther Hobart, and lived in Middleport. He and brother, 
John Grant, were enterprising and successful millers for many 
years in Middleport. They operated the roller process for 
making flour, about the first of any mill in Meigs county. Mr. 
William Grant was one of a company who went overland to 
California in 1849. 

Samuel Grant, Jr., was an invalid, and died unmarried. 

Belinda, the daughter, died when quite young. 

Mr. Samuel Grant, Sr., operated mills in different parts of 
Meigs county. At the Higley Mills on Leading Creek soon 
after his arrival ; later, he took charge of the Stedman mill on 
Shade river, and built, or rebuilt, the mill at Chester. He 

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110 Pioneer History of Meigs County 

bought land and settled on his farm below Middleport, and 
spent the remainder of his life in the vicinity of Pomeroy and 
Middleport, alternately with his sons. He died in 1866 at the 
gjeat age of 93 years. His wife, Mrs. Grant, lived a few years 
after her husband, dying "well up in the nineties," of age. 

John Grant, brother of Samuel Grant, was born on April 
11th, 1789, in the State of Maine. He married Mahetible 
Mahew, and they had two children when arriving at Silver 
run, Meigs county. 

Thompson Grant married Cynthia McNaughton. 

Franklin Grant, when a small boy, was drowned in Leading 

Andrew, another child, was choked to death by a grain of 
corn falling into his throat or windpipe. 

Mary Grant was married to Elias Hutton, and moved to 
Delphos, Kansas. 

John, Jr., married Lucinda Lellan, residing in Ottumwa, 

Sarah, first; Simpson, second; Steward Grant, living at 
Greeley, Iowa. 

Lydia Grant, unmarried, living with her father at Greeley, 

Henry C. married Clarissa Merrill, located at Ironton, Ohio. 

In 1852, John Grant, Sr., moved to Greeley, Iowa, being up- 
wards of ninety-three years old. Mrs. John Grant died in 
1864. While John Grant, Sr., lived in Rutland, O., he en- 
joyed the respect and confidence of all classes of the people. 
He was Justice of the Peace in 1826, and Township Treasurer 
for many years. 

He died at his daughter's, Mrs. Hutton, of Delphos, Kansas, 
December 16th, 1889, aged 100 years, 8 months and 5 days. 

This long-lived family, as the records indicate, were of 
Scotch descent, and known as far back as Peter Grant, who, 
it is supposed emigrated in colonial days and settled in Maine. 

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Pioneer History of Meigs County 111 

John Knight and his wife Agnes, nee Grant, came from 
Maine in the "Grant Company" in 1817. Their children were, 
viz. : Daniel, who died at the age of 18 years. 

Benjamin Knight married Dolly Newell, settled in Chester, 
Meigs county. Calvin Knight married Jane Barton, first wife 
died. He then married Euretta Stowe. Sarah B. Knight was 
married to Samuel Torrence. Samuel Knight married Eliza- 
beth Mitchell, a preacher of the Christian denomination, and 
moved to Kansas. 

Louisa, the wife of Francis Chase, lived in Rutland. Both 
are dead. 

Lydia Knight was married to John Whiteside, of Long 

Agnes Knight became Mrs. Alvin Rife, of Chester, long 
since dead. 

Rhoda Knight was never married, but cared for both of her 
parents in their old age and to their death with filial devotion. 
She died in 1906. 

Eunice Knight was Mrs. Osborn; moved to Davenport, 
Iowa, and died. 

Olive Knight, unmarried, dead many years. 

Almira, wife of Oscar Newell, of Chester, left a widow, but 
since dead. 

Mr. John Knight moved his family six times, always in 
Meigs county. He opened the first coal bank on Naylor's run, 
Pomeroy, O. He died in* Chester in 1875, in his 93d year. 
Mrs. Knight preceding him a year, and died aged 87 years. 
Pioneer sketch, by G. W. Chase, December 1st, 1882. 

At the meeting of the Meigs County Pioneer Association in 
August, 1882, a very interesting paper was presented by Mr. 
Silas Jones of personal recollection of incidents related by 
John Warth, Esq., of events and experiences of himself and 
his brother, George Warth, in the early days of Indian 
troubles, while his father's family were living in the stockade, 
and where his brother, Robert Warth, was shot, killed and 

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112 Pioneer History of Meigs County 

scalped by Indians. This paper by Mr. Silas Jones is repro- 
duced in this history. The fact that the Warth brothers 
carried the first United States mail between Marietta 
and Gallipolis, brought out the letter of Col. David Barber, of 
Harmar, who was present at the reading by the secretary, 
Mr. George McQuigg. Before the reading of the letter, Mrs. 
E. L. Bicknell placed an "In Memoriam'' in the secretary's 
hands which he read as preparatory to the correspondence 
with Col. Barber. 

"I come today to speak of the dead, of funerals without 
hearse, and burials in graves hollowed out by kindly neigh- 
bors, and mourned sincerely by loving hearts. The pioneers 
who died were laid in plots of ground not held by any special 
tenure, often private burial places convenient of access to the 
families bereaved. In the subsequent changes of ownership 
of land ; in the wide scattering of relatives ; these places have 
been neglected, and graves of our ancestors have too often 
been lost. Allow me to call attention to a "burying ground," 
I use the Quaker term, as most befitting, situated on the farm 
of my late father, N. Bicknell, and the portion now owned by 
me. It is in all respects a pioneer graveyard. There have 
been no interments in it for forty years. Here are the graves 
of Mrs. Abigail Lindley, who drove the first carriage from 
Athens to Great Bend; Mr. Haviland Chase, from Otsego, 
N. Y., whose tombstone is marked with the compass and 
square; Mr. Isaac Laveaux Roberts, also with compass and 
square. He was grandfather of the well-known Capt. William 
Roberts, steamboatman, of Letart, O. Mr. Smith and wife, 
and Mrs. Smith, second, wife of John Smith, mother of Mr. 
Thomas Smith, and great grandmother of Prof. Thomas S. 
Carr, of Syracuse, O. Mr. Duncan, a Scotchman, and his 
wife, who came from Scotland, with the famous Nahum Ward 
colony. Mrs. McDaniel, of the same Scotch company, Mr. 
George Warth, wife and daughter. Two children of Charles 
and Lydia McClain, nee Roush, little ones — "Mary Jane and 

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Pioneer History of Meigs County 113 

Isabel." Mr. Artemas Johnson and his little daughter Mar- 
garet, and others. 

Mrs. Lindley was a sister of President Lindley, first Presi- 
dent of the Ohio University at Athens, O. I well remember 
his visit to his sister's grave, stopping over night at my father's 
house. Mr. George Warth was the real pioneer. His grave 
is known, but has never been marked by a stone. In regard 
to him I wrote to Col. David Barber, of Harmar, and received 
an interesting letter, which shall be read presently. 

Before this letter is read, I beg to state my object in pre- 
senting these names before you. It is my wish to secure the 
ground where these dead are lying by a deed, in some form 
claiming the oversight and gfuardianship of the membership 
of the Meigs County Pioneer Society. It contains nearly 
one-fourth of an acre, on the bank of the Ohio river, a south- 
east corner lot, that might be made, with small expense, a 
place fair to look upon. I ask for this old pioneer, this Indian 
scout, George Warth, a stone for his grave. What more ? The 
ground is grown up with brush and briars, and without a 
fence. In order to deed the land a survey will be necessary, 
and some expense will be incurred to clear it out, and enclose 
it with a fence. Two men are lying there with the compass 
and square on their headstones. 

These beautiful lines, 

"My flesh shall slumber in the ground. 
Till the last trumpet's joyful sound. 
Then burst death's chain in sweet surprise. 
And in my Savior's image rise," 

are the Christian watchwords on the tombstone of Mrs. Lind- 
ley. Shall the plow of any future proprietor lengthen furrows 
over these graves? Will you help secure God's acre from un- 
hallowed uses? 

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114 Pioneer History of Meigs County 

Col. Barber's letter was then read, he being present, : 

"Harmar, April 27th, 1881. 
Mrs. E. L. Bicknell: 

Your favor of the 18th inst. was duly received. In reply 
thereto I copy from Hildreth's Pioneer History. He gives the 
names of families in and near Fort Harmar in the time of the 
Indian hostilities. Among them, George Warth and wife and 
two daughters and five sons. Catharine Warth, a daughter 
of Mr. George Warth, Sr., was married to Joseph Fletcher, a 
young man from New England, and settled in Gallia county. 
He was a surveyor of the county, and a Judge of the Court of 
Common Pleas. He died in 1844. 

Pickett Marvin, a young man from the Eastern States, mar- 
ried Polly Warth, a sister of Catharine Fletcher. They settled 
in Gallia county, where Mr. Marvin served several years as 

The sisters, Ruth and Sally Fleehart, who were married to 
George and John Warth, brothers, were noted for their skill 
with the rifle. It was said that Sally Fleehart could bring 
down a hawk upon the wing, or a squirrel from a tree top as 
readily as her husband, John Warth. These women had been 
brought up on the frontier and possessed all the intrepidity 
and courage of women of that class. This ends the record in 
Col. Barber's letter. In regard to Mr. George Warth, he was 
one of a party who accompanied Governor Return J. Meigs on 
his perilous journey down the Ohio river. He was less fa- 
vored by fortune than brother John ; nevertheless, services to 
his country should be appreciated. Silas Jones. 

At the pioneer meeting of 1883, a committee was appointed 
to procure a suitable monument to be placed at the gjave of 
George Warth. 

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Pioneer History of Meigs County 115 

Rutland, Ohio, August 14th, 1884. 
The committee appointed to erect a monument to mark the 
resting place of George Warth beg leave to report. The 
amount contributed by members at the last meeting: 

$8.50. Robert Combs, dime collection, $5.00. Do- 
nated outside of the Society, $16.00. Donated by 
L. A. Weaver, $8.00. Total $37.50 

Paid for monument $35.00 

For hauling and putting it up 2.50 

Silas Jones, 
Chairman of Committee. 
Thus are remembered the services of an Indian spy and 
scout, who carried the U. S. mail from Marietta to Gallipolis 
in a canoe, defended by his unerring rifle, and propelled by a 
pole in his strong hands. S. C. L. 

This pioneer graveyard was surveyed and deeded to Leb- 
anon township by Mrs. Emetine L. Bicknell, and the deed was 
recorded in the Recorder's office at the Court House in Pome- 
roy, O., in 1883. She also paid to the wife of Uriah Sayre, for 
her labor, and her boys, money for the cleaning of brush and 
briars of this same pioneer graveyard in the fall of 1882. 


In those primitive times the raising of flax and the manu- 
facturing of the same was an important business. It could not 
be exchanged for or supplied by anything else. The ground 
needed for cultivation had to be good, mellow land, free from 
weeds, and was sown broadcast. When grown and seed nearly 
ripe, it was pulled up by the roots by hand and spread upon 
the ground where it grew, and where it remained until dry. 
It was then bound in small bundles, and the seed pounded oflf 
with flails, after which it was taken to a meadow or pasture, 
and spread evenly on the grass to lie until the rain and weather 

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116 Pioneer History of Meigs County 

had weakened the pith or inside of the stem, or rotted it suffi- 
ciently to be easily broken when dry. It was then taken up 
and bound ready for the brake. The brakeman would take a 
handful of flax and place it under the brake, and with his 
other hand ply the brake till all the sheaves were mashed fine. 
Then the ends of the handfuls were slightly combed by what 
was called a hatchel, and the broken stems were thrown away 
as useless. Then both ends were thoroughly combed, and the 
tow saved for use. The flax that remained after these pro- 
cesses was fine, smooth and glossy. The tow was carded on 
hand cards into rolls, or bats, and was spun on a "big wheel" 
like wool ; but the flax was spread over a distaff and spun on a 
little wheel, and operated by the foot on a treadle. This thread 
made the warp, and the tow yarn made the filling when woven 
into cloth, which was called "tow and linen cloth," and was 
commonly worn by men for trousers in summer. The linen 
warp was sometimes colored with copperas, a yellow brown, 
and filled with woolen yarn colored with butternut bark, and 
was called butternut jeans, and made winter clothing. For a 
change, both linen chain and woolen filling were colored with 
indigo and made blue jeans for men and boys, coats and 

Experiments were made with other material, as of buckskin, 
the hide of the deer, when properly tanned was a soft, pliable 
leather, made into gloves, mittens and moccasins, very rarely 
into the garments for men or boys. 

Attempts were made to raise cotton, but in such small quan- 
tities, and lacking proper machinery to take the seeds out of 
the cotton, the effort was unsuccessful. 

At a later period a few families entered into silk culture, 
planted white mulberry trees, and had rooms fitted for feeding 
the worms, but it was considered an unhealthy business, and 
was abandoned. 

Perhaps no article of household furnishings was prized more 
highly than the long pendulum wall clock. The firm of Reed 

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Pioneer History of Meigs County 117 

and Watson, of Cleveland, Ohio, made them, and sold to farm- 
ers in Rutland, on nine months' time, for twenty dollars per 
clock. Abel Larkin, Esq., bought one in December, 1813, and 
paid for it in flannel at one dollar a yard the next fall. This 
clock of Judge Larkin's, bought in 1813, had been in constant 
use, and always keeping correct time, was still running in 
December, 1893, after eighty years of service. 

Among the few equipments of a log cabin, and a great con- 
venience for cooking over the fire, was the crane. It was a bar 
of iron fastened in staples in one side of the fireplace, and 
movable, hung with hooks of different lengths for the use of 
the kettles in cooking. The teakettle, the pot with boiled din- 
ner and the beans were easily hung over the log fire, while 
with a long shovel coals were drawn out from under the fore- 
stick and put on the hearth for the oven to bake the bread. 

Many a family have enjoyed a supper of mush and milk, 
sitting around the family table with bowls for the father and 
mother and tin cups and iron spoons for the children. The 
best mush was made from the corn, grated on a tin grater, be- 
fore the corn was quite hard enough to shell. This was sifted, 
and carefully dropped by one hand into the water boiling in the 
kettle over the fire, while the other hand stirred it in ; it had 
to be stirred all the while the meal was passing from the other 
hand to avoid lumps, and the boiling continued during the 
process. The salt was put in the water first. 

To make bread, mills were necessary, and the pioneers used 
hand-mills for crushing corn and wheat. In 1791, a floating 
mill was built at Marietta. It required swift water to run this 
mill, which was operated in the Ohio river not far from the 
island now known as Blannerhasset, and ground wheat for the 
inhabitants for many miles distant during the Indian War. 
Many canoe loads of grain were brought from Graham's Sta- 
tion, Point Pleasant and Gallipolis. After Indian hostilities 
had ceased, the mill broke loose from its moorings and floated 
down the Ohio river some sixty miles, when the chain cable 

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118 Pioneer History of Meigs County 

got entangled in a rock and retained it. Some French settlers 
from Gallipolis bought it, and it was kept at Letart Falls, as 
the swift current there could run the mill. The first name we 
have been able to obtain as miller at Letart was George Burns, 
but it is probable he was preceded by some man whose name 
is not recorded 

In 1798, a floating mill was built by Col. Devol, the second 
one by Col. Devol and Mr. Greene, which was on the Mus- 
kingum river several miles above Marietta, which did all the 
grinding for the inhabitants on the Ohio and Muskingum rivers 
for fifty miles above and below the mill. This mill is referred 
to by Mr. Luther Heacox in his histpry of Olive township, and 
also by Mrs. Dolly Knight in her paper giving a history of 
Chester. ' • ? ' .!. i 

In 1806, a saw and grist mill was built on Leading creek by 
Brewster Higley, James E. Phelps and Joel Higley, Jr. 
Asa Daine was the millwright The mill was known after- 
wards by the names of different owners, as Higley's mill, Bing- 
ham's mill and others. Several miles farther up Leading creek 
was the grist mill built by Samuel Denny in 1803. A saw mill 
was added subsequently, and this mill stood about twenty 
years. A log mill was built on the middle fork of Shade river 
by Levi Stedman about 1808, the first mill in that locality, and 
he used hand millstones obtained from Mr. Trueman Heacox 
until proper millstones could be provided. 

In 1815, Thomas Rairdon built a grist mill at Long Bottom. 
Samuel Grant took charge of the Stedman mill at Chester in 
1820, and rebuilt it, although Levi Stedman had supplanted 
the log mill by a frame one ; still it was a water mill, needing 
new machinery. 

Sloper's mill on Shade river farther down the stream than 
Chester was noted for making flour that would "raise" salt- 
rising bread, however dark. 

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Pioneer History of Meigs County 119 

Cross' mill on Bowman's run was far in advance of other 
mills in turning out good flour. This was a water mill, dating 

Joseph D. Plummer and his wife Dorothy came from New- 
buryport, Massachusetts, to Rutland, Ohio, having spent sev- 
eral months at Marietta, in the spring of 1817. He bought of 
Eli Stedman the southwest corner of Congress Section No. 8, 
where he resided until his death, October 16th, 1852, aged 81 
years and 3 months. 

Mrs. Dorothy Plummer died December 9th, 1854, aged 79 
years 3 months. 

Their children were two sons and five daughters. The 
eldest son Ebenezer took the lead in business. He was influ- 
ential in the building of the Presbyterian Church, the first 
church of that denomination in the township of Rutland, in 
1820. Mr. Eben Plummer was a singer and led the singing in 
that church. After his marriage he took care of his parents for 
a few years, when he sold to his brother, Herriman Plummer, 
and moved to some Western State. 

Herriman Plummer married Lucinda Stout, daughter of 
Benjamin Stout, who died, leaving quite a family of children, 
after some years. For his second wife, Mr. Plummer married 
Miss Rebecca Mauck, of Gallia county, and spent a few of his 
last years in that county. He was a man of great industry, 
and besides farming, he engaged in building boats, and in the 
salt business. 

Herriman Plummer was born April 6th, 1802, and died May 
31st, 1894, at the age of 92 years and 25 days. 

Hannah Plummer, the oldest daughter of Joseph and 
Dorothy Plummer, was married to Jacob Rice, of Marietta. 
They had one son, Henry Rice, who lived on a part of the "old 
Plummer farm," and where he died in 1859, aged 36 years. 

Melinda Plummer was married to John C. Bestow, of Ches- 
ter, had two sons, Joseph and Henry. Mr. Bestow married for 

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120 Pioneer History of Meigs County 

his first wife a daughter of Levi Stedman, who died leaving one 
son, Levi S. Bestow. 

The second wife died in a few years after marriage. 

Harriet Plummer was married to Robert McElhenney, of 
Middleport, and died November 18th, 1855. 

Sarah Plummer was the wife of Lewis Nye, of Pomeroy, 
where he was engaged in the milling business, but after a few 
years moved to Illinois, where they both died. 

Eliza Plummer, the youngest daughter, never married. She 
died November 20th, 1873, aged 26 years. 

John McVey died in Salem township, February 1st, 1885, 
aged 94 years. 

Allen Sayles came to Rutland in 1819, and died there in 
1838. Mrs. Sayles died July 18th, 1851. 

Mrs. Noah Smith had three daughters. Nancy, married to 
Capt. Jesse Hubbell, of Rutland. Jennie became Mrs. Maples, 
and Theresa Smith was married to Eliazer Barker, who was 
drowned in Leading creek in June, 1813. She afterwards mar- 
ried Laundres Grant. 

In the fall of 1816 two brothers, Josiah and Robert Simpson, 
came from Penobscot, Maine, to Rutland, Ohio. Josiah bought 
the northwest corner of Section No. 8, Congress land, and 
moved his family into a house on the premises. They had a 
large family. Josiah Simpson, Jr., married Theresa Higley, 
and had two daughters — Mary, Mrs. Thomas Kirker, and 
Adaline, Mrs. Samuel Higley. 

Josiah Simpson, Sr., died February 18th, 1837, in his sev- 
enty-seventh year, and his wife died in 1840, aged sixty-four 

Josiah Simpson, Jr., died April 12th, 1874, and his wife 
Theresa died in 1862. He had married a second wife in De- 

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Pioneer History of Meigs County 121 

cember, 1864, a widow, Mrs. Dixon, of Albany, Athens county. 
Her first husband was Dr. Joseph Dixon, and they had two 
daughters, one of whom died unmarried. The other is Mrs. 
John Bradford. Mrs. Simpson died in 1890 (?). 

Nathan Simpson was the second son of Josiah Simpson, Sr., 
born May 20th, 1812. He married Miss Liva Nye, daughter 
of George Nye, of Athens county, Ohio, who died June 11th, 
1845, aged thirty-three years and twenty-two days. Nathan 
Simpson and his wife Liva had one son and two daughters. 
The son, G. Perry Simpson, became a lawyer and married a 
daughter of Mrs. Kennedy, of Salem township, and settled in 
Point Pleasant, W. Va., and practiced his profession while he 
lived. His daughter. Miss Liva N. Simpson, was proprietor 
and editor of the Point Pleasant Gazette some years before 
her marriage. 

Two daughters of Nathan Simpson were Rosantha, who 
died young, and Mandana, who was married to Alvin Bing- 
ham, of Rutland. They lived in Middleport several years, 
then moved to Missouri, and afterwards they went to Iron- 
ville, near Toledo, Ohio, where two of their sons were in busi- 
ness. Mrs. Mandana Bingham died there in 1896. 

The daughters of Josiah Simpson, Sr., were Eliza, Mrs. 
Ransom Harding; Nancy Simpson, became Mrs. Wheatley, 
of Indiana; Mary Simpson, Mrs. Simms; Betsy, the second 
wife of Ethan Cowdery, lived on Shade river ; Ruth, Mrs. Dr. 
Abel Phelps, of Pomeroy, Ohio; Lydia, Mrs. Pullens; Susan 
Simpson, Mrs. Willis. There was one son, John Simpson, 
who died in early manhood. 

Nathan Simpson married for his second wife Miss Nancy 
Hendry. He was an associate judge, in Meigs county six 
years ; later filled the office of prosecuting attorney with abil- 
ity and public approval. 

Robert Simpson bought the northeast corner of Congress 
Section No. 26 in Rutland township, 160 acres. He sold this 
farm in a few years and purchased a fine tract of land near 

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122 Pioneer History of Meigs County 

Harrisonvllle, in Scipio township, where he and his wife spent 
their remaining days. Robert Simpson, Jr., succeeded his 
father in the possession of the homestead. The daughters of 
Robert Simpson, Sr., were : Maria, Mrs. EUsha Hubbell Bene- 
dict; they moved to Kansas in 1856, and Mrs. Benedict died 
there. Emily Simpson, the wife of Lucius Bingham, of Rut- 
land, Ohio; Sarah Ann Simpson was married to Jeremiah 
Carpenter, of Columbia township and became the mother of 
a distinguished family; she died in 1887, aged eighty years and 
four months. 

Amos Carpenter, Sr., came from Virginia at an early period 
and settled in Rutland township. About 1818 he sold his farm 
there and bought a valuable tract of land in Columbia town- 
ship. Mrs. Carpenter's name was McLaughlin. They spent 
their last days on this farm, leaving a fine estate to their chil- 

John Newell and family came from Massachusetts in 1816 
to Fairfield county, Ohio. He had bought land in Bedford 
township, Meigs county, four miles from the nearest house, 
and did not move his family to his land until 1819, after he 
had cleared it and many families had settled in the neighbor- 
hood. Mr. Newell was a tanner and shoemaker. 

Mr. Newell died suddenly October 14th, 1839. Mrs. Newell 
died in 1871. They had a large family of sons and daughters. 
Sally was married to Silas Burnap and was the mother of 
Silas Asa Burnap, captain of an Ohio battery in the Civil War. 
Harriet became the wife of Milton Walker, moved to Illinois ; 
both died. Dolly Newell married Benjamin Knight, of Ches- 
ter, who was a justice of the peace for twenty years ; he died 
February 16th, 1872. Rebecca Newell married Quartus Bridge- 
man, of Syracuse, who died in the forties, leaving a family of 
six children — four sons and two daughters. 

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Pioneer History of Meigs County 123 

The Newell sons: Alonzo, who married Fanny Dyke and 
moved to Oregon, where they both died. Franklin Newell 
moved to the South, married and then died there. His son, 
Samuel Newell married Almira Knight, and their son is editor 
and proprietor of a newspaper in Ravenswood, W. Va. The 
third generation of the Newell family were all first class citi- 
zens in Meigs county. Mrs. Rebecca Bridgeman lost two sons 
in the war for the Union, Emory and Austin Bridgeman, who 
perished on that ill-fated steamboat. Sultana, at Vicksburg, 
Miss. Zelda Bridgeman married John Blair, superintendent 
of the Syracuse Coal and Salt Works, Meigs county. They 
are both dead. 

Lonnis H. Bridgeman married Artemesia Young, of Racine. 
He was connected with the Syracuse Coal and Salt Company 
for many years and superintendent of the works after the 
resignation of Mr. John Blair. Mr. Lonnis H. Bridgeman has 
ever been an earnest and successful superintendent of the 
Methodist Sunday school in Syracuse and in later years super- 
intendent of the district of the State Sunday School Union. 

Quartus Bridgeman married Jessie McElroy, daughter of 
Captain J. C. McElroy, and occupied the homestead, his 
mother remaining there until her death. He is identified with 
the best interests of the town and a worker in the Methodist 
church and Sunday school. 

Melinda Bridgeman died some years ago, the youngest 
child, unmarried. 

Rev. Eli Stedman was born in Tunbridge, Vt., August 17th, 
1777, and was married to Polly Gates, December 5th, 1798. 
She was born February 19th, 1778. They came to Ohio in 
1804, locating in Belpre, Washington county, but removed to 
Leading creek in 1805. He was a preacher of the Free Will 
Baptist denomination. 

Mary Stedman, daughter of Eli Stedman and wife, was bom 
June 16th, 1805, and was married to Abner Stout, of Chester, 

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124 Pioneer History of Meigs CouNrv 

February 27th, 1825. Mr. Abner Stout died August 28th, 
1875, and Mrs. Mary Stout died May 30th, 1882. They were 
both estimable people and highly respected in the community. 

Auralia Stedman was a daughter of Eli Stedman and wife, 
and was born June 22d, 1815, in Rutland, Ohio. She was 
married to Mr. Branch, of Chester, who died, leaving her a 
widow with two children. Afterwards Mrs. Branch was mar- 
ried to Mr. Bartlett Paine, of Rutland. She died May 27th, 
1889, aged nearly seventy-four years. 

Alexander Stedman, son of Eli Stedman, was born in 1800 
and died in Minnesota in 1869. 

Elihu Stedman was the youngest child of Eli Stedman and 
wife. He married Adaline Elliott, daughter of Simeon Elliott, 
Esq., and a sister of Rev. Madison Elliott, at one time prin- 
cipal of the Chester Academy. Elihu Stedman lived in Middle- 
port many years, but moved to Iowa. Both are dead. 

Captain Jesse Hubbell was born Septeniber 25th, 1788, in 
Cooperstown, N. Y., founded by the father of James Fenni- 
more Cooper, the novelist. He served an apprenticeship to 
the tanning business. In 1808 he came to Rutland, Ohio, 
where for a long series of years he followed his trade. He was 
a soldier in the War of 1812, serving under General W. H. 
Harrison, and was familiarly called Captain Hubbell on ac- 
count of the years spent in military service. He was justice 
of the peace six years and one of the trustees of Rutland town- 
ship eighteen years. He married Nancy Smith, a daughter of 
Noah Smith and his wife. They had two daughters, Lurinda 
Hubbell was the wife of Curtis Larkin, who died about 
1847 ; Sarah Hubbell, who was married to John Easterday. 

Captain Jesse Hubbell died October 17th, 1874, aged eighty- 
six years. 

Seneca Haight was born in Washington, Dutchess county, 
N. Y. He came to Rutland, Ohio, in 1835. He held several 
offices of trust — as township clerk two years, commissioner 

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Pioneer History of Meigs County 126 

one term and justice of the peace nine years. He had two 
daughters. Phebe Ann Haight was married to James Wil- 
liamson, of Buffington Island; died in the eighties. Mary 
Haight was the wife of William Skirvin. Both are dead. 

Mr. Seneca Haight died November 23rd, 1855, aged fifty- 
nine years. 

Stephen Titus was born in Dutchess county, N. Y., June 
20th, 1796, and moved to Meigs county in 1833, and was mar- 
ried to Margarhetta Lois Nye, daughter of Melzar Nye, of 
Leading creek, December 18th, 1836. He was an active, ener- 
getic citizen. He represented this county in the Legislature 
in 1840-41. He was president of the Meigs County Agricul- 
tural Society and was president of that society six of the first 
years of its organization. He died at his residence in Rutland 
September 13th, 1871, aged seventy-five years, universally 
respected and lamented. They had four children, Samuel, 
Phebe, Margaret and George. 

Mrs. Stephen Titus was no ordinary woman. With a per- 
fect physique, fine mental equipment, a thoroughly decided 
moral attitude for country and for God, she was a "perfect 
woman, nobly planned." She was a member of the Presby- 
terian Church in Rutland for seventy-seven years; also a mem- 
ber of the Pioneer Association of Meigs county. She died 
October 31st, 1907, aged ninety-two years and two months. 
Her home was with her son, George Titus, in the old home- 
stead. He is quite a prominent farmer; was sheriff of the 
county one or two terms. 

Major Samuel Titus was a soldier in the Civil War and lost 
an arm. Margaret died in January, 1902. Phebe, Mrs. Glea- 
son, lives in Kansas. 

Melzar Nye purchased land from Ebenezer Nye in 1809, situ- 
ated below the mouth of Leading creek, but did not make a 
home there until 1826, when he came to Meigs county with 
his family. There were five daughters and one son, Melzar 

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126 Pioneer History of Meigs County 

Nye, Jr. The daughters: Sarah became the wife of Lewis 
Maguet, of Gallipolis. Margarhetta was married to Stephen 
Titus and lived in Meigs county. Mary Nye was married 
twice; first husband, Nicholas Titus, and after his death the 
second husband was James Brown. 

Alvira Nye and Almira were twin sisters. Alvira was Mrs. 
Thomas Fessler and lived on the Nye farm, where Mr. Fessler 
died. Almira Nye was married to Mr. Gates, of Gallia county. 
Melzar Nye, Jr., moved to Mississippi. Prominent members 
of the community while in Meigs county. All are gone. 

Lewis Nye entered land in 1809. Nial Nye, Sr., lived at the 
mouth of Kerr's run, before Meigs county was organized. 
He had a family of sons and daughters. The sons: Lewis, 
Rodolcue, Milton, Buckingham, Edward and Henry. He had 
a store, and a postoffice called Nyesville, of which Mr. Nye 
was the postmaster ; a boat landing for receiving and shipping 
goods to Chester and other places ; a sawmill that was in op- 
eration many years. Lewis Nye and Aaron Murdoch were 
successors of Haven & Stackpole in the steam flouring mill ; 
later Lewis Nye moved west. Milton Nye went to a Western 
State. Rodolcue lived and died in Meigs county. Edward 
Nye died. His two sons are prosperous business men in 

Murrain. — One of the greatest difficulties with which the 
early settlers had to contend was a disease affecting cattle, 
and causing much loss, was known as murrain. There were 
two kinds ; one called dry murrain was the most prevalent, in 
which the manifolds became fevery and dry, and stopped all 
natural passages. The animal would linger a few days in 
great distress and die. 

The other form was called bloody murrain and consisted of 
internal hemorrhages that generally proved fatal. 

Many remedies were tried with little success. The mur- 
rain gradually disappeared after 1820. 

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Pioneer History of Meigs County 127 

Abel Larkin was unable to raise a yoke of oxen before that 
time without at least one of them dying with murrain. 

It is said that Daniel Rathburn lost eighteen head of cattle 
in one season with murrain. 

William Parker came to Rutland in 1804, and built a cabin, 
and in 1805 moved his family from Marietta, bringing with 
him three yoke of oxen, and the nigh ox out of each yoke, 
died of murrain. Good steers were the only property com- 
manding cash in those days. Drovers would buy them at a 
low rate and drive them on foot to the eastern markets. They 
were not bought by weight, but by the head, according to 
terms agreed upon by the parties. 

Another singular and disagreeable disease, though not fatal, 
was that of slabbers in horses. They would stand, while a copi- 
ous flow of saliva would issue from the mouth until puddles of 
water would collect at their feet. The horse would become thin 
in flesh, and his strength be greatly diminished. The disorder 
came immediately after the introduction of the white clover, 
and the cultivation of the grape. Many causes were assigned by 
different persons as the cause of the disorder, but it is uncer- 
tain if any one discovered the real source of the trouble. It 
continued many years and affected other kinds of stock, but 
gradually disappeared from the country. 



After the first settlement on Leading creek, in the year 1812, 
the cicada made their appearance and periodically in seven- 
teen years subsequently, as in 1812, 1829, 1846 and 1880. There 
seemed to be districts or locations where the locusts were seen 
in great numbers in these seventeen-year dates. The east and 
west lines between these two districts crossed the Ohio river 
near the mouth of Old Town creek, thence back into West 
\2l%inia at or near Racine, Ohio, and back into Ohio at Silver 

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128 Pioneer History of Meigs County 

run, passing north of Cheshire in Gallia county and moving 
on to Scioto county. There is a curiosity about the line of the 
two districts that they continued nearly straight without re- 
gard to the crooked Ohio river. They made their first ap- 
pearance from the 15th to the 20th of May, according to 
warmth or coolness of the season, and remained about forty- 
five days before they all disappeared. The males belong to 
the "drum corps," while the fenf^le pierces the small twigs 
and limbs of trees and deposits her eggs. These in due time 
fall upon the earth, where they remain for another period of 
seventeen years, to mature their grolvth for a few days' work 
in the sunshine, which seems necessary to continue the ex- 
istence of their species. 

These cicada were destructive to young orchards as well as 
other green and growing shrubs. A gentleman in Lebanon 
township had an orchard of choice variety of apples, and hear- 
ing of these "seventeen-year locusts" just coming into notice, 
turned his flock of a hundred geese into his orchard who, de- 
vouring the pests as they came up from the ground, protected 
and preserved his fruit trees from any damage. 

When the first settlers came to Ohio they found great num- 
bers of wild turkeys, a large bird seen in flocks in the woods, 
but harmless in every way. In the fall of the year men of the 
settlement caught them in pens built of rails from a fence near 
by, and generally placed on a side hill, and were about three 
feet high, and covered with rails. Then a low place dug at 
the lower side of the pen, and extending under, just large 
enough for a turkey to enter, would be strewed with a little 
shelled corn, leading into the pen where more corn would be 
scattered inside. The turkey eating followed the trail into 
the pen, and one after another all would go in. When they 
wanted to go out, their heads would be up, never looking 
down at the entrance hole. A man with a club would go in, 
even where the turkeys did, and kill all, or as many as he 

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Pioneer History of Meigs County 129 

desired. The meat was fine, and frequently a very large fowl 
would be with the flock, so that they furnished many a good 
dinner for an emigrant's family. The feathers were not elastic 
or fluffy, though some attempts were made to use them for 
beds and pillows, while the wings and tail feathers were 
serviceable for fans and dusters. 

The pheasant and quail remained here all the year, but crows 
and blackbirds seen in large numbers in the spring and sum- 
mer, migrated in the fall. The wild pigeons passed over in 
vast numbers when going north or south, in the early or late 
season. Large flocks would sometimes tarry for a while in 
the fall and select a roosting place, where might be seen 
pigeons coming from every direction to stay all night. Men 
would sometimes visit those roosts at night and capture many 
birds, which were used for food. 

The wild goose was often seen by the early settlers, on 
their yearly migration from the lakes and swamps of the 
South to the lakes and swamps of the North, fleeing the ap- 
proach of cold weather in each case. They moved in large 
flocks, with a leader to direct their course, following in a 
closed-up column in a triangular shape obeying the com- 
mand — a singular "honk," uttered by the leader. Southern 
Ohio was neutral ground, as none stopped, except a few that 
by weakness or some unknown reason strayed from the com- 

The crane was a very large bird, not numerous, though fre- 
quently seen in warm weather. 

The large owl remained in this climate during the year, and 
the small owl — "screech owl" — ^were noted for their habits of 
taking chickens from the roosts at night. The large owl made 
a peculiar "hoot" at nightfall. 

The hawk was another invader of the domestic fowls, in 
broad daylight swooping down on a brood of young chickens 
and seizing one in bis talons, fly away frgm the distracted 

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130 Pioneer History of Meigs County 

mother hen, and only to be halted by the unerring aim of the 

It IS not certain when bees were discovered by the first emi- 
grants. The hunters were men with strong eyes so that they 
could see a bee in flight, and follow it to the tree where the 
honey was made and stored, and chopping down the tree to 
secure the honey was the sweet reward of the hunters' sight 
and patience. Hollow gums were used for domesticating bees, 
and some farmers made hives with ropes of straw, sewed to- 
gether so as to form a conical shaped hive for bees. Boxes 
were made afterwards for the same purpose, until the bee moth 
became so destructive that other kinds of hives were invented 
and patented for the protection and raising of bees. 

Few of the first settlers in Rutland were hunters and did not 
use guns. Many of the New England men, also those from 
New York, were carpenters, and a few were millwrights. The 
first thing to use was an ax, then something to draw wood. If 
by oxen, a yoke with a ring in it, to which a hook in a chain 
lengthened out to fasten around the end of a log securely to 
draw to the place desired. 

If horses were used, then ropes or strips of rawhide were fas- 
tened to wooden hames, which served as collars. Sleds were 
first used, then carts, but wagons were not in general use for 
many years, except by some wealthy farmers. In the house, 
the woman was furnished with a split brush broom. These 
brooms were made of a hickory pole by cutting and peeling 
down with a knife splits from the end to make the broom. The 
broom corn of later years was not known in those early days. 
A chest served for a table till some mill was started and boards 
were available, so that cross-legged tables were made and 
shelves placed upon pins driven into the logs. A few spiders 
and pots to cook with and pewter plates to eat from completed 
the assortment. Some families had provided themselves with 

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Pioneer History of Meigs County 131 

home conveniences by bringing things needful from their for- 
mer homesteads, but the majority of those first settlers had 
come from long distances, poorly equipped for traveling or for 
even camp life for a while. Good housewives who had brought 
pewter plates from "away back east" could not give them up 
without protest to the daughter's innovation of a lot of porce- 
lain ware. It was claimed that the knives would all be dull if 
used on such plates. 

Mr. Daniel Rathburn, who was a carpenter, built a frame 
barn without nails. He put everything together with wooden 
pins. This was the first frame barn erected on Leading creek. 

Wheat was cut with sickles and threshed with flails, and the 
grain winnowed by a sheet held by two men, who employed 
the wind and their united force to clear the chaff from the 


In giving an account of this indispensable article I will in- 
troduce an extract from the life of Griffin Green, by S. P. Hil- 
dreth. "In 1794, when salt was worth from $6 to $8 a bushel, 
he projected an expedition into the Indian country near the 
Scioto river for the discovery of the salt springs said to be 
worked by the savages near the present town of Jackson. At 
the hazard of his life and all those with him, ten or twelve in 
number, he succeeded in finding the saline water and boiled 
some of it down on the spot in their camp kettle, making about 
a tablespoonful of salt. While here he narrowly escaped death 
from the rifle of an Indian who discovered them, unobserved by 
the party. After peace was concluded, this warrior related the 
circumstance of his raising his rifle twice to fire at a tall man 
who had a tin cup strung to his girdle on his loins and who 
was known to be Mr. Green. As he might miss his object, 
being a long shot, and be killed himself, he desisted and hur- 
ried back to the Indian village below the present town of Chil- 
Hcothe for aid. A party of twenty warriors turned out in pur- 

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132 Pioneer History of Meigs County 

suit and came on to the bank of the Ohio at Leading creek a 
few minutes after the whites had left it with their boat and 
were in the middle of the river. They were seen by the men 
in the boat, who felt how narrowly and providentially they had 

The first settlers here got their salt from these Scioto salt 
works. The writer remembers hearing his father tell of taking 
a horse and pack saddle and going to the "Scioto Licks," as 
they were then called, and working a week for a sack of salt. 
His business was drawing salt water by means of a hand pole 
affixed to a sweep above. After receiving his wages, put his 
salt on the pack saddle and made his way home. Those salt 
works were under the superintendency of a state officer, and 
by a law passed January 24th, 1804, renters had to pay a tax 
of 4 cents per gallon on the capacity of the kettle used in 
making salt, provided always that no person or company shall 
under any pretense whatever be permitted to use at any time a 
greater number of kettles or vessels than will contain 4000 gal- 
lons, nor a less number in any one furnace than 600 gallons. 
After the salt works on the Kanawha were started the people 
here depended on Kanawha for salt, and for many years it was 
a place of considerable trade. Young men, on coming of age, 
went to Kanawha to chop wood or tend kettles when they 
wished to obtain a little money. It was hardly. expected to get 
money at any other place, and salt seemed to be the medium 
by which trade was conducted. 

Keelboats were used as a means of transportation, and ship- 
ments were made by them of salt to Marietta, Pittsburg and 
the lower Ohio. In order to give some knowledge of the origin 
and progress of the Kanawha salt business, we append a letter 
which appeared in the Niles Register, Baltimore, Md., in April, 
1815, and we copy from the Meigs County Telegraph, April, 

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Pioneer History of Meigs County 133 

Kanawha Salt Works. 

At the first settlement of this place there was a great "buffalo 
lick," as it was called, was discovered where some weak salt 
water oozed out of the bank of the river. After some time the 
inhabitants sunk hollow gums into the sand and gravel at that 
place, into which the water collected, but it was so weak that, 
although sufficient quantities might be collected, not more 
than two to four bushels were made in a day. After the prop- 
erty came into the possession of my brother, Joseph Ruffner, 
and myself (by divisee), we were desirous to see the effect of 
sinking large sycamore gums as low down as we could force 
them. We found great difficulty in this on account of the 
water coming in so rapidly. When we got down about eight- 
een feet below the surface of the river we discovered that our 
gums lodged on a solid, smooth freestone rock, and the water 
was but little improved as we descended. We then bored a 
hole in the rock about 2^ inches in diameter, the size generally 
used subsequently for that purpose. After penetrating the 
rock eighteen or twenty feet, we struck a vein of water saltier 
than had been attained in this place before. Our neighbors 
followed our example and succeeded in obtaining good salt 
water in the distance of 2^ miles below and four miles above 
us on the river. They all have to sink the gums about eighteen 
feet to the rock, into which they bore a hole from 100 to 200 
feet deep. The rock is never perforated, though the water 
seeps into the holes in soft or porous places. The cost of bor- 
ing was from $3 to $4 a foot. The first water that is struck in 
the augur hole is fresh, or an inferior quality of salt water, 
which is excluded by means of copper or tin tubes put down 
into the augur hole and secured so that none of the water that 
comes in above the lower end of the tube can discharge itself 
into the gum, which has a bottom put into it immediately upon 
the rock, and is secured in such a manner that no water can 
get into the tube except that which comes up through the tube 

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134 Pioneer History of Meigs County 

from below. The water thus gathered in the gum rises about 
as high as the surface of the river at high water mark, and it 
requires from seventy to 100 gallons of it to make a bushel of 
salt. Each well produced on an average a sufficient quantity 
of water to make 300 bushels of salt per day. There are now 
established and in operation fifty-two furnaces, and more are 
being erected, containing from forty to sixty kettles of thirty- 
five gallons each, which make from 2500 to 3000 bushels of 
salt per day. The quantity may be increased as the demand 
shall justify. The wood in the course of time must become 
scarce or difficult to obtain, but we have stone coal that can 
be used for fuel, and the supply is inexhaustible. These works 
are situated six miles above Charleston, Kanawha Courthouse, 
sixty-six miles from the mouth of the river and twenty-six 
miles below the great falls. The river is navigable, with a gen- 
tle current, at all seasons of the year for boats drawing two 
feet of water, and at most seasons for boats of any size. 
Your obedient, humble servant, David Ruffner. 

Kanawha Salt Works, November 8th, 1814. 

It appears from old account books that salt rated as high as 
$2 per bushel in Rutland township as late as 1820. The first 
salt water seen on Leading creek was a small pond of reddish 
water, which in dry weather cattle would visit for drink, the 
place being near the channel of the creek, about a quarter of a 
mile below the old Denny mill, in a bend of Leading creek. In 
1820 several of the neighbors brought in their kettles and set 
them on a kind of furnace and made of that water one bushel 
of salt. After which a company was formed consisting of Ben- 
jamin Stout, Caleb Gardner, Thomas Shepherd and Michael 
Aleshire, who bored a well and erected a furnace and com- 
menced making salt in 1822, when Benjamin Stout bought out 
the other parties. 

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Pioneer History of Meigs County 135 

In 1822 Abijah Hubbell and his son, Jabez Hubbell, and 
Barsley Hubbell bored a salt well above the Stout well and a 
furnace set for making salt in 1824. 

Ruel Braley manufactured salt at his works, five miles above 
on Leading creek, in 1830. 

The Bradford and Stedman's furnace was located about five 
miles below the Stout well in 1830 or 1831. 

Still further down the creek Theophilus Jacobs operated a 
furnace for a few years with a great deal of energy. 

Near the mouth of Thomas Fork Herriman Plummer bored 
a well and made salt in 1831. 

Two other salt wells had been previously attempted in Rut- 
land township, but failed to obtain salt water. One was bored 
by Joseph Giles, Sr., and the other one was by Samuel Church 
in 1822, which resulted in the discovery of a heavy lubricating 
oil, the true value of which was not understood and very little 
attention was paid to it. 

After the Rutland furnaces began to make 200 bushels of 
salt per week the prices came down to 50 cents a bushel. After 
salt was made in large quantities along the Ohio river the 
works on the creek became unprofitable, and the manufacture 
of salt was discontinued. 

In 1810 Joseph Vining and his brother, Joshua Vining, came 
with their families from Hartford, Conn., and settled in Rut- 
land township, near the later residence of John B. Bradford. 
Timothy Vining, a son of Joseph Vining, was born in Hart- 
ford July 24th, 1805. Joseph Vining died at the age of ninety- 
one years, and his wife near ninety years. 

Timothy Vining married Sina Jones, daughter of Charles 
Jones, and they had a large family — six sons and three daugh- 
ters. The six sons were all soldiers for their country. Mr. 
Vining died at the age of eighty-seven years ten months and 
twenty-eight days on May 23rd, 1893. 

Mrs. Sina Vining died at the age of eighty-four years. 

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136 Pioneer History of Meigs County 

Mrs. Jane Jones, nee McDaniel, was born and brought up 
in the Shenandoah valley, Virginia, until she was fifteen years 
old, when she came to Ohio. When twenty-four years of age 
she was married to Elijah Jones, of Salisbury township. They 
had a family of sons and daughters. 

Mrs. Jones had belonged to the Christian Church for more 
than fifty years. She died May 29th, 1893, at the age of eighty- 
four years, seven months and nineteen days, and was buried in 
the Bradford graveyard. 

Abraham Winn moved with family from New York to 
Canada and from there to Rutland in 1816, and bought a farm 
on Section 17, where he lived until his death, in 1835, at the 
age of sixty-four years. He left a widow and several children. 
Mrs. Winn died in 1860, aged eighty-six years. The children 
were: Joseph Winn, Sally, Mrs. Joseph Howell; Jacob Arm- 
strong Winn, Fanny Winn, Mrs. Charles Nobles; Jonathan 
Winn, Lydia Winn, Mrs. Alexander Stedman; John Winn 
lived and died in Albany, Athens county, aged eighty-three 
years; William Winn went to Illinois, Nancy Winn, Mrs. 
Daniel Skinner. 

Asahel Skinner and family moved from Maine to Rutland, 
Ohio, June, 1817. Mr. Skinner's first wife was Phoebe Gould, 
who died in September, 1817. Two of their children remained 
in the East ; the others were : Daniel Skinner, a miller in the 
southeast part of Rutland; Alona, Mrs. William McKee; Jo- 
seph, Joel and William Skinner, Olive, Mrs. John Chase; 
Isaac Skinner, Edna, Mrs. Hiram Chase; Phebe, Mrs. Wil- 
liam Hartinger; Asahel Skinner, David Skinner and Lucinda 

Asahel Skinner married for his second wife Jane, the daugh- 
ter of Thomas Everton. Their children were : Lucinda, Mrs. 
Dr. Clark Rathburn; Elizabeth, Mrs. Alexander Hogue; Cal- 
vin, Marinda, Mrs. Metcalf; Samantha, Thomas, Isaac Skin- 
ner. Twenty-two children of Asahel Skinner's family. 

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Pioneer History of Meigs County 137 

Daniel Skinner was born in Corinth, Me., in 1801, and 
moved with his father, Asahel Skinner,. to Rutland in May, 
1817. He was constable one year and township trustee sevefi 
years. He had a numerous family. His death occurred in 

Thomas Everton came from Maine in 1800 to Rutland, Ohio ; 
bought land and made a home for his family. He was a mem- 
ber of the Regular Baptist Church and was familiarly known 
as "Deacon" Everton. His children were: Betsy, Mrs. Ben- 
jamin Richardson — ^first wife ; Ebenezer Everton, Relief, Mrs. 
Edwards; Thomas Everton, Jr., Polly, Mrs. Stone; Benjamin 
Everton, Nancy, Mrs. Jesse W. Stevens; Sally, Mrs. Charles 

Mrs. Lucinda Pendegrass was born in Conway county, 
Mass., August 14th, 1793, and was married to Daniel Childs 
April 29th, 1813. They had a family of nine children. They 
came to Ohio in 1835. Mr. Childs died September 21st, 1846. 
Later, Mrs. Childs was married to Benjamin Richardson in 
1848. He died in April, 1852. She lived a widow nearly forty 
years and departed this life on June 12th, 1892, aged ninety- 
seven years, nine months and twenty-eight days. She had led 
a most exemplary life, a devoted follower of her Lord. The 
Bible was her companion, with a remarkable memory. She 
read it through thirty-six times in thirty-six years. She was a 
member of the Baptist Church in Pomeroy at the time of her 

John Sylvester came from Maine and located in Rutland. 

He married his second wife, who was a widow of Henry 

Filkin. They had two children, Sarah and William. John 

Sylvester was a son of the first wife, and John Sylvester, Jr., 

was a grandson of Joseph Sylvester and was noted for his 

great strength and his skill in wrestling. 

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138 Pioneer History of Meigs County 

Joseph Giles lived in Rutland and followed the blacksmith 
business. He married Elizabeth Townsend in September, 
1822. She was born in Kennebec county. Me., March 26th, 
1803, and came to Scipio, Meigs county, in 1816. 

Mr. Giles died in Rutland in 1873. Mrs. Joseph Giles died in 
Middleport, February 18th, 1887, aged eighty-three years, ten 

Lemuel Powell was born near Steubenville, Ohio, March 
28th, 1814. He was married twice, first to Nancy Sook, and 
his second wife was Miss Osca Elizabeth Tingley, from near 
Cincinnati. Mr. Powell died January 9th, 1894, aged nearly 
eighty years. 

Aaron Torrence was born in Allegheny county. Pa., July 
5th, 1792, and came to Meigs county in 1809. He was married 
to Lucy Hussey in 1823. She died in 1872. They had a family 
of seven children, and had been married forty-nine years. Mr. 
Torrence married a second wife in 1873, Mrs. Rachel Horton. 
He was a soldier in the War of 1812 and fought the British at 
New Orleans. He lived a conscientious Christian life, a mem- 
ber of the Methodist Church, and died at Bald Knobs, July 
18th, 1884, aged ninety-two years and thirteen days. 

Whittemore Reed was brought from New Hampshire in 
1798, a child, to Orange township, by his mother. He married 
Miss Stout and had a family of five sons — Darius, Aaron, 
Whittemore, Jr., Enos and Sardine. Darius Reed married 
Miss Curtis, of Washington county, and engaged in the drug 
business in Pomeroy. They had a family — Curtis Reed, a 
druggist; William Reed, banker, and Helen, the wife of Rev. 
Thomas Turnbull. All of these families live in Pomeroy. 
Darius Reed and his wife are dead. Aaron Reed married and 
settled in Orange, a farmer. Whittemore, Jr., married Miss 
Young and moved to Clermont county, a farmer. Enos Reed 

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Pioneer History of Meigs County 139 

was married twice, first to Miss Curtis, and the second wife 
was Miss Ann Maria Seely. He was a druggist in Portsmouth, 
Ohio, but later went to farming. Sardine Reed graduated from 
West Point with first honors and bright prospects, married, 
and died in six months. 


Samuel Downing came from Waterville, Me., in 1815. He 
came overland to Pittsburg and then floated down the Ohio 
river on a raft or flatboat to Gallipolis, Ohio. In February, 
1818, he removed to Scipio township, Meigs county, where 
he purchased land and opened a valuable farm. He was a sur- 
veyor and a justice of the peace for many years. He was an 
infidel in belief, until in later life he became a zealous Metho- 
dist. When Meigs county was organized, in 1819, the sheriff 
and commissioners were chosen in April to serve until after 
the general election in October of that year. Benjamin Stout, 
sheriff ; Levi Stedman, William Alexander and Elijah Runner, 
commissioners. At the October election in 1819 the following 
men were elected for commissioners by drawing of lots. It 
was determined that William Alexander should serve one 
year, Philip Jones two years and Samuel Downing three years. 
Mrs. Downing was Hannah Harding before marriage. They 
had a numerous family — six sons and one daughter. Accord- 
ing to their ages, they were: Samuel, Jr., George, Rodney, 
Franklin, Hollis, Harrison and Hannah, the youngest child. 
Samuel Downing, Jr., died when quite a young man. George 
Downing was born in Waterville, Me., April 2Sth, 1801. 

George Downing married Harriet Chase. He was a black- 
smith by trade, also a surveyor, and served many years as a 
justice of the peace. In 1826 an independent company of 
militia was organized, with Jesse Hubbell for captain, George 
Downing as lieutenant and Oliver Grant ensign. After seven 
years, the officers having served out the time of their commis- 
sion, the company disbanded. He was a large, well propor- 
tioned man, of great strength. He was supposed to be the 

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140 Pioneer History of Meigs County 

strongest man in southern Ohio. Many stories were told of 
remarkable feats of lifting great weights and other exhibitions 
of strength. He died July 12th, 1878, aged seventy-seven years 
and three months. Mrs. Downing died March 10th, 1890. 

Rodney Downing was born in Waterville, Me., November 
8th, 1802, and came with his father, Samuel Downing, to Ohio. 
He married Maria Black in 1825. They had two sons, Samuel, 
who died young, and John B. Downing, familiarly known as 
"Major" Downing. Mr. Downing and his wife became mem- 
bers of the Disciples or Christian Church in 1829, under the 
ministry of the Rev. James G. Mitchell. He lived in Rutland 
and kept a country store and dealt largely in produce, built 
flatboats and with a cargo of grain, fruit or hay sent them to 
trade on the coast of the Mississippi river in the South. 

Mr. Rodney Downing built a steamboat, the Gen. Harrison, 
at the Stedman farm on Leading creek, in 1835, intended for 
the Cincinnati and New Orleans trade. He was one of the 
leading spirits in nearly every useful enterprise. He was clerk 
of Meigs county Court of Common Pleas for three terms. He 
removed to Middleport in 1847. Mrs. Maria Downing died 
October 22nd, 1870, in her sixty-fourth year. In April, 1873, 
Mr. Downing married for his second wife Lorinda Downing, 
of Harding, Lake county, Ohio. He died in Middleport, De- 
cember 16th, 1886, aged eighty-four years. 

Franklin Downing, third son of Samuel Downing, married 
Nancy Black. They were members of the Christian Church 
in Rutland and led consistent lives, unostentatious, industrious, 
highly esteemed in the community. 

Hollis Downing was born in Maine June 16th, 1807. He 
married Phebe Smith, of Middleport, with whom he lived 
eighteen years, when she died. He married Jane Reed for his 
second wife, after which they moved to Ripley, Ohio, in 1850. 
He married again, Ellen Ross, his third wife. Hollis Downing 
died December 29th, 1889, in Ripley, Ohio, aged eighty-two 
years six months. 

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Pioneer History of Meigs County 141 

Columbia Downing was born in Maine August 23, 1809, and 
came with his father to Scipio township. He married Mary 
Gibson in 1829. Mr. Downing held many public offices, such 
as mayor of Middleport, magistrate, county commissioner and 
member of the Legislature. His first wife died, and he mar- 
ried Jane Smith in 1840. Columbia Downing died in Middle- 
port, Ohio, July 2Sth, 1889, aged nearly eighty years. Many 
friends mourned at his death. 

Harrison Downing, the youngest son of Samuel Downing, 
married Jane Graham, of Rutland. They moved to the West 
many years ago, and Mr. Downing died in 1892. 

Hannah Downing, the only daughter and youngest child, 
was married to Mr. Thompson and settled in Athens county, 
but afterwards moved to Pontiac, 111., where she died Febru- 
ary 2nd, 1894, seventy-eight years of age. She was the last of 
the old Downing family. 

Aaron Thompson was born at Racine, Ohio, in 1815. He 
had spent most of his life in Meigs county, but moved to 
Kenova, W. Va., where he lived ten years and where he died 
October 23rd, 1893. He was one of the first members of the 
Meigs County Pioneer Society. He was a communicant of the 
Christian Church, respected by all who knew him. He was 
married twice and had a numerous family. Mrs. Thompson, 
second, died at Kenova, W. Va., August, 1893. 

Pleney Wheeler was born in Canada in 181S. She was mar- 
ried to William B. Pennington in New Albany, Ind., Decem- 
ber 31st, 1835, and moved to Middleport, Ohio, in 1847. She 
was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church and sus- 
tained a character of piety and good works. She died in Mid- 
dleport May 29th, 1892. 

Alexander Von Schritz came to Salem township in 1816, 
where he brought up a large family. Joseph Von Schritz was 

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142 Pioneer History of Meigs County 

his son, born in Salem township, and married Elizabeth Sloan. 
They moved to Omega, Pike county, Ohio, in 1849. 

The Von Schritz family were mostly daughters, married, 
and are scattered in the country. The father, Alexander 
Von Schritz, was a soldier in the War of 1812. 

Joseph Townsend came from the northern part of Ohio to 
the mouth of Leading creek in 1812. He was a tanner by 
trade and made morocco leather. His children were: Maria, 
born March 28th, 1806, and was married to Joseph Hoyt, one 
of five brothers who settled in Orange township in 1813 ; Mar- 
garet Townsend; Sally Townsend was married to Berriman 
Baily in 1825, and lived in Rutland; John Townsend; Albert 
Townsend, and Charles Townsend, a son of Albert, a blind 
man, well known in Rutland, Ohio. 

John McClenahan and his wife, who was a Cargill and 
lineal descendant of Rev. Donald Cargill, who was executed in 
1684 at the cross in Edinburgh because of his religious prin- 
ciples, came from Palmer, Mass., in 1816 and settled in Ches- 
ter, Meigs county. They had two children, Guy McClenahan, 
who resided in Sterling Bottom for a number of years, then 
removed to the great West. His sister was married to Lyman 
Stedman, a son of Levi Stedman, of Chester. They had three 
children, Lyman Stedman and Lucy, who was the first wife of 
J. J. White, of Portland, Ohio. Mr. Stedman died in 1828, and 
his widow, Samary Stedman, was married to David de Ford 
in 1832, who died in 1836, leaving one child. The third hus- 
band was Isaac Sherman, in 1839. They had four children. 
Mr. Sherman died in 1852, and the family emigrated to Kan- 
sas, finally to east Washington, where Samary McClenathan 
Sherman died at the age of ninety-three years. A life that 
began within sound of the Atlantic ocean and ended on the 
shores of the Pacific in 1898. 

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Pioneer History of Meigs County 143 

Stephen Smith was a native of New Jersey, but at an early 
age came to Fayette county, Pa., and later, in 1823, to Meigs 
county. Stephen Smith and his Wife Mary had a family of 
fourteen children; Sally, Leighty, Annonijah, Firman, Wil- 
liam, Josiah, John, Elizabeth, Mrs. Branch; Robert, Joseph 
v., James and Isaac. Two sons died in infancy. 

Stephen Smith died in 1841. 

Joseph V. Smith was born in Fayette county. Pa., January 
24th, 1816, and came with his parents to Meigs county in 1823. 
He obtained his education in the schools of his native state 
and in Meigs county after coming here. He was a plasterer 
by trade, which he followed until 1854, when he was elected 
sheriff of Meigs county and served two terms. In 1863 he was 
appointed deputy provost marshal of the Fifth district of 
Ohio, and at the same time he held the office of United States 
marshal under President Lincoln. He served as deputy pro- 
vost from April 1st, 1863, to April 1st, 1865, and as deputy 
United States marshal until 1864. During the incumbency of 
these offices he had many exciting experiences and narrow 
escapes. As provost marshal he arrested ninety-seven desert- 
ers from the United States army. 

Mr. Smith married Rachel Hinckley, daughter of Abraham 
Hinckley, who died in 1848, leaving two daughters, Marietta 
and Prussia. 

Mr. Joseph V. Smith married for his second wife a daughter 
of Ira Foster, on January 1st, 1870. He died January 14th, 
1894, aged seventy-seven years, eleven months and twenty 
days. His daughter. Marietta, Mrs. Simms, died years since. 
Prussia, the second daughter, married Stephen Schilling and 
died in a few years. 

Jesse Page came from Maine and located in Scipio township 
in 1816. He had a wife and three children when he came to 
Ohio. The children were: Edith Page, Mrs. Robinson; 

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144 Pioneer History of Meigs County 

Lydia, Mrs. Amos Stevens; Elizabeth, married a Mr. Page. 
The sons were Samuel, Sargent, Reuben and John Page. 

Jesse Page died in 1834. 

William Stevens was born in 1767 at Cape Ann, Mass. He 
came to Rutland, Ohio, ,in 1818, and settled on a farm near 
Langsville. His children were : William, Jr., Jesse W. and 
Rev. Amos Stevens, Sally, Mrs. Jared Gaston; Lois, Mrs. 
Cowdey; Betsy, Mrs. Danforth; Eunice, Mrs. Davis; Mrs. 
Loran Hovey was Harriet S. Rev. Amos Stevens married 
Lydia Page. Their children : Jesse W. Stevens, A. J. W. Ste- 
vens, Arion Lovejoy Stevens, Theresa, Mrs. Dyke; Sarah 
Stevens, Mrs. Dudley. Rev. Amos Stevens' second wife was 
Miss Anna Aleshire. Mr. William Stevens died in 1843, aged 
seventy-nine years. 

John Bing was born in Botetourt county, Va., November 1st, 
1799, and with his parents came to Gallia county, Ohio, in 1805. 
He came to Rutland in 1829, when he married a daughter of 
John Entsminger. They lived in Rutland until 1869, when 
they moved to Masonville, Iowa. One son, Ernest Bing, was 
in the Civil War. 

Robert Bradford was born March 28th, 1796, in the stockade 
near Belpre, Washington county, Ohio. He was said to be a 
lineal descendant of Governor Bradford of Massachusetts. 
In 1822 he married Mary L. Arnold, who was born July 26th, 
1798, in Rensalear county, N. Y. They came to Meigs county 
in 1828. Mr. Bradford sold goods in Rutland three years, and 
then became interested in the manufacture of salt. Subse- 
quently retired to a farm in Salisbury township. They had a 
family of sons and daughters. William Wallace Bradford and 
John B. Bradford survived their parents. 

Mr. Robert Bradford died December 3rd, 1875, aged seventy- 
eight years, eight months and six days. Mrs. Mary L. Brad- 
ford died July 29th, 1894, aged ninety-six years. They \srere 
good citizens and enjoyed the respect of the community. 

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Pioneer History of Meigs County 145 


A synopsis of an article from the pen of Albert G. Gardner, 
in which the principal statement was related to him by his 
father, Joshua Gardner: "Many of the early settlers were of 
Puritan stock, and thoroughly imbued with the love of liberty, 
united to dauntless courage and daring to aid or rescue from 
oppression any helpless fellow being. But to the story. 

One morning in the early part of summer of the year 1825 
a party of neighbors were at the blacksmith shop of Joseph 
Giles, near New Lima, among whom was Joshua Gardner, the 
father of Albert, who lived near. A horseman was seen ap- 
proaching from the direction of Scipio, and as he came fully 
in view it was seen that a negro woman sat on the horse with 
the stranger. It was evident that she was not a willing pas- 
senger on that train, so they were promptly halted. Mr. Gard- 
ner demanded of the man his authority for taking the woman. 
He had none. He said that "she acknowledged herself to be a 
slave of the Wagners in Virginia," opposite Kerr's run in Ohio. 
She had made her escape from bondage and was on her way 
to Canada to join her husband, who had made the race for 
freedom some time before. Thereupon Mr. Gardner told them 
that he was a peace ofBcer, a town constable, and it was his 
duty to prevent kidnapping as well as other crimes. Turning 
to the woman, he asked her "if she wanted to go with this 
man." She almost sobbed out, "No, sir." Mr. Gardner told 
her to "get down and go where you please," and as an officer 
of the law he would protect her. She slipped down from the 
horse and started to retrace the road she came. The man 
started for Virginia to inform the Wagners and to put them 
on her track. Some of the party from the shop soon overtook 
the woman and guided her to the house of one Crandle, a poor 
man, but noble citizen, who lived in an "out of the way" place, 
where she could be provided for until the search and excite- 
ment should die away. The colored woman was hidden in an 
old brush fence by a shelving rock and fed and well taken care 

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146 Pioneer History of Meigs County 

of by Mrs. Crandle and family. The Wagners were soon in the 
neighborhood, scouring the country and offering rewards. On 
one occasion a very poor man from the east side of the town- 
ship came loitering around the premises of Crandle in search 
of deer or turkey and discovered the hiding place of the wo- 
man. Tempted by the reward offered, he started to inform 
the slave owners, but, as little souls are apt to be ignorant, 
stopped at Stephen Ralps' and told him of his plan and visions 
of future wealth. As soon as he left, Ralph shouldered his 
rifle and, marching through the woods, gave the alarm. Next 
morning the fire had destroyed the old brush fence and effaced 
all traces of its recent occupant. The Wagners concluded the 
old hunter was a wilful fraud. However, the woman was 
removed to the farm of Benjamin Bellows and secreted until 
he had communicated with parties in Canada and ascertained 
the whereabouts of the woman's husband. Mr. Bellows pre- 
pared a wagon with a false bottom, or double box, into the 
bottom of which he put the woman and on the top a lot of 
weavers* reeds and started for Canada to sell reeds. Mr. Bel- 
lows reported that he traveled one day with one of the Wag^ 
ners and another party who were hunting this very woman, 
and that Mr. Wagner got off from his horse and helped Bel- 
lows' wagon down a steep, rocky hill to keep it from turning 
over, little suspecting that the object of his search was 5io 
near him. 

Foiled in all other points, the Wagners determined to try 
the law to obtain the value of their woman chattel from Joshua 
Gardner. Suit was brought in Court of Common Pleas at 
Chester and came to trial by jury, which resulted in a verdict 
for the plaintiffs. An appeal was taken, and the Supreme 
Court held that the admissions and sayings of the woman 
could not be admitted to prove her identity ; if she was a com- 
petent witness she must be produced in court ; but if she was 
a slave she could not be a competent witness. So the case 

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Pioneer History of Meigs County 147 

After the trial, Judge Pease, of the Supreme Court, was 
heard to say "that an action of trover for the recovery of stock 
might do in Virginia, but it would not do in Ohio unless the 
stock had more than two legs." M. Bosworth. 

The next step was to kidnap Gardner and deal with him 
according to the rules of chivalry. It was reported that twelve 
men were seen on horseback in disguise for that purpose, but 
they were anticipated by a force abundantly able to resist 
them. There was no attack made. The expenses of this suit 
and trouble consequent consumed all of Mr. Gardner's prop- 
erty. He made an overland trip to California and obtained 
money sufficient to buy a comfortable home in Rutland, Ohio, 
where he enjoyed the respect and confidence of his neighbors. 

Mr. Joshua Gardner was born in Connecticut January 5th, 
1793, and died in Rutland March 1st, 1869, aged seventy-six 
years. Mrs. Gardner was Nancy, the daughter of James E. 
Caldwell, who came with his family from Vermont in 1817. 

Albert Gallatin Gardner was born in Rutland March 15th, 
1820. He contributed the foregoing narrative of Joshua Gard- 
ner. He married Lucy Bellows November 27th, 1849, and had 
a family of six children. 

Albert G. Gardner died in Rutland, Ohio, January 13th, 1891, 
aged seventy years, ten months and twenty-eight days. 

From the "Leader," by Mr. Charles Matthews, Washington, 
D. C, February, 1908: 

"Daniel and Timothy Smith, with their brother-in-law, Brad- 
bury Robinson, came from Vermont in 1805. With their fam- 
ilies, household goods, wagons and stock, they floated down 
the Ohio river, stopping at Belpre, Big Hocking and Leading 
creek. The party, after looking at land and visiting the settle- 
ments, concluded to separate. Timothy Smith and family 
were landed at Silver run, while Daniel Smith and their 
brother-in-law, having purchased their brother's share in the 
boat, floated down the river to Cincinnati. Timothy Smith was 

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148 Pioneer History of Meigs County 

born in 1770, and married Polly Conner, who was born in 1772. 
They had seven children, as follows: Charlotta Smith, born 
May 24th, 1797, and married EHas Jones in October, 1814; she 
died October 4th, 1871. John Adams Smith, born February 
22nd, 1800, and married Deborah Paine, November 22nd, 1822 ; 
he died January 10th, 1840. Elizabeth Smith, born January 
9th, 1802, and married John S. Giles June 7th, 1818; she died 
November 8th, 1842. Sarah Smith, born July 10th, 1804, and 
married Obadiah Ralph, September 19th, 1822; she died Feb- 
ruary 3rd, 1875. Anselin Smith, born in 1806, and died in 
1816. Timothy Smith, Jr., born 1810, and died at the age of 
nine months. Mary Smith, born December 19th, 1812, and 
married Moses R. Matthews, April 10th, 1831 ; she died De- 
cember 24th, 1893. 

Timothy Smith erected one of the first grist mills in the 
county. It was a tread mill, run by horse power, located on the 
bank of Silver Run. He also mined the first coal, shipping to 
Cincinnati on a raft. John Adams Smith, above mentioned, 
was the man arrested by Virginia officials and confined in 
Point Pleasant jail for running off slaves, and was rescued by 
his Ohio friends in 1824, described in the paper by John S. 
Giles, Jr., so ably for the Pioneer Society and published in the 
"Telegraph" in 1875. 

"In 1823 Hamilton Kerr, living at the mouth of Leading 
creek, employed Adams Smith to act as guide for eight col- 
ored men who were on their way to Canada, a not infrequent 
occurrence for colored persons made free by their masters to 
pass through the country on their way to Canada. So Mr. 
Smith escorted the colored men to Columbus as hired by Mr. 
Kerr, with no thought of wrong doing. The fact was that Kerr 
had given aid to colored people, bond or free, to go north. 
Slave owners on the Kanawha and on the Ohio river above 
Point Pleasant had organized for protection and sent out de- 
tectives on both sides of the river. They concluded that Smith 
was guilty of aiding escaped slaves. In October, 1824, four 

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Pioneer History of Meigs County 149 

men from Virginia arrested Smith without authority of a war- 
rant or law and took him by force into Virginia, and placed 
him in close confinement in the jail at Point Pleasant, refusing 
bail for him. This gross violation of the most sacred rights of 
the citizens of Ohio, showing such contempt for the state's 
jurisdiction that it excited universal indignation, and open vio- 
lence was threatened to release Smith from his illegal confine- 
ment. Many good citizens of Ohio, who had no disposition to 
interfere with their Virginia neighbors in holding slaves, had 
no doubt often unconsciously aided slaves many times in giv- 
ing them food or answering questions as to the points of com- 
pass when the traveling black man appeared at their doors, so 
it was argued that if one man, like Smith, upon whom suspi- 
cion had fallen, could be picked up without form of law and 
carried beyond the jurisdiction of the state and there impris- 
oned without the right of bail for a supposed criminal offense, 
what security was there for others equally exposed? This 
argument had its effect upon the excited people, and to the 
formation of a vigilance committee, with regular station sig- 
nals from Colonel Jones' landing, where the Grant's mill stood, 
in Middleport, and from Smith's landing at the mouth of Sil- 
ver run out to where John S. Giles lived in Rutland. So per- 
fect was the arrangement that by the sound of horns trans- 
mitted from station to station, an alarm would circulate over 
the route in fifteen minutes if any suspicious person or com- 
pany were seen at any of these points. Smith had been de- 
tained at Point Pleasant jail six weeks, during which time a 
plan had been matured to effect his release by force. John S. 
Giles had visited him in jail, ostensibly to take him clothing, 
but in fact to notify him of the arrangement and to be ready 
at any moment. Information that was considered reliable 
came from Point Pleasant of a plot to murder Smith in jail. It 
was said that one of the Wagners had put one of his slaves in 
the jail with Smith, who, in consideration of his freedom, was 
to commit the murder. On receipt of this information hasty 

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150 Pioneer History of Meigs County 

preparations were made to carry into effect the plan for 
Smith's release. 

"It was secretly arranged that Martin Meeker, William 
Hatch, John Woods, David Tyler, Obediah Ralph, William 
Terry, Charles Giles and John S. Giles to meet on the bank of 
the river at the mouth of Silver run on the evening of a day in 
November, 1824. These men were noted among the early set- 
tlers for their coolness, courage and great physical strength 
and activity. They had taken the greatest precaution in with- 
drawing from their homes without the knowledge of other 
members of their families. All were armed to the teeth with 
hunting rifles, pistols. One carried a flint lock musket loaded 
with seven rifle bullets, another carried a dragoon or horse- 
pistol loaded with three rifle bullets. They agreed on their 
plan and chose John S. Giles as commander, and, having dis- 
guised themselves by blacking their faces, they embarked in 
an old pirogue and with muffled oars floated down the river on 
their perilous adventure. It was known that the jail at Point 
Pleasant was strongly guarded, but these men, smarting under 
the outrage of their rights as citizens of Ohio, and aroused to 
resentment by the frequent taunts of Yankee cowardice hurled 
at them because they did not come and 'take Smith out,' as 
they had threatened to do, with fears for the imminent danger 
of the prinoner's life, had become desperate in their purposes. 
The little craft was urged forward by the long, dull strokes of 
the oars and landed eleven miles below at Point Pleasant. The 
jail was a two-story frame building, standing about fifty yards 
from the river bank, with two rooms below and two rooms 
above. The front entrance opened into the jailer's room on the 
lower floor, from which there was a passage into the other 
lower room, occupied as the jail. An outside stairs led to the 
rooms on the second floor, at the top of which was a platform, 
surrounded by bannisters and was used as a guard stand. The 
room at the head of the stairs was called the 'debtor's room.' 
On this occasion it was occupied by the gfuards, whose num- 

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Pioneer History of Meigs County 151 

ber had been increased to four men after the visit of Mr. John 
S. Giles. Without a word the attacking party divided, to make 
a simultaneous assault on the jailer's room and upon the upper 
room occupied by the guards. Meeker and Lyles reached the 
guards' room, where they succeeded so as to find an entrance 
for the muzzles of their guns, but the four guards inside held 
the door, but the action in placing the guns was menacing 
enough to restrain for a few minutes the guardmen, while the 
work in the lower room was in progress. First into the jail- 
or's room, who was in bed, and just wakened, he was kept 
quiet by the presence of guns pointing close to him, while 
with an ax the prison door was broken down, and Smith 
jerked out of bed half asleep, and pushed through the door. The 
object of the raid having been effected so far, and no one hurt, 
they made haste to retreat and reach the boat as soon as pos- 
sible. But the guards were out on the platform. Woods, 
with his dragoon's pistol, fired; the gun failed, but his au- 
dacity kept the g^ard back, thus enabling the party to gain 
time in advance of their pursuers, for the jailer, as well as the 
guard, were bold, brave men, and followed with such deter- 
mined steps that the order was given to fire on the pursuing 
force. Terry fired with his musket and hit one of the guard, 
who fell, the ball having marked his ear and cut through his 
whiskers. Thus hindered, but while the Giles men were get- 
ting into their boat, the guardsmen stood on the top of the 
bank not more than forty yards away and began to fire. Dis- 
regarding the firing they pulled for the opposite shore until 
near the middle of the river when balls began to strike the 
boat with precision. The boat was turned broadside to the 
shore and the men lay close down in the side of the vessel un- 
til out of range of the firing, all but Tyler, who refused to 
obey this command to shelter himself, and received a ball 
across the lower part of his breast that made a scar four or 
five inches long. While holding the boat in this position and 
floating down stream, out of the range of g^ns, the jailer had 

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152 Pioneer History of Meigs County 

taken a position behind a sycamore on the edge of the bank, 
and his shots were very annoying. His head looked like a 
knot on the side of the tree. And Hatch, the marksman of the 
company, was ordered to fire at the knot. He shot, and the 
ball, striking the side of the tree, filled the jailer's eyes with 
splinters. When reaching the Ohio shore, the boat was aban- 
doned, and the men walked home, and before daylight crept 
to their beds so quietly that the members of their several 
households were not aware of their having been away or ab- 
sent. The Virginians suspicioned John Woods, John S. Giles 
and Elisha Ayers, as three of the party that had broken the 
jail in Point Pleasant, and threats were heard of taking these 
men to Virginia, as they did Smith, and lynching them. This 
was not done. A more peaceful and lawful way was adopted, 
by seeking redress for their wrongs in the power of the law. 
Indictments were found at Point Pleasant against Woods, 
Ayers and Giles, and the Governor of Virginia made requisi- 
tion on the Governor of Ohio for the surrender of the parties 
to the Virginia authorities. The Governor of Ohio issued his 
warrant and deputized Col. Lewis, of Virginia, to serve it 
When Col. Lewis crossed the river to make the arrests, the 
people unaware of his authority, prepared to make a defense. 
Col. Lewis went directly to Chester, the county seat of Meigs 
county, and called to his assistance Thomas Rairdon, of Long 
Bottom, Deputy Sheriff Newsom and Constable Dickey, of 
Chester township. They went to make the first arrest of John ' 
S. Giles in Rutland and satisfied him of their authority, and 
he went without resistance, but they had not proceeded half a 
mile, when twelve men in disguise stepped out of the woods 
on Sargent's hill and demanded Giles' release. After some 
parleying, Giles convinced them of the authority from the 
Governor of the State that this was a legal transaction, and he 
was willing to let the law take its course, and they concluded 
to acquiesce. Among the men who were about to interfere 
were John Sylvester, Sr., Joshua Gardner, David Tyler and 


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Pioneer History of Meigs County 153 

Burrell Peck. Giles, Woods and Ayres were taken to Point 
Pleasant and lodged in jail, where they remained two months 
before they were tried, 

Giles and Ayres were found "not guilty," but Woods was 
pronounced guilty and fined thirty dollars, which he refused 
to pay, or allow his friends to pay, and boarded it out in jail, 
refusing to leave until they would keep him no longer. Judge 
Summers, of Charleston, presided at the trial, which was a 
perfectly fair one. Judge Clough, of Portsmouth, and Judge 
Fisher, of Point Pleasant, were attorneys for the defendants. 

There was no evidence whatever against Ayres, and none 
against Giles except the testimony of the jailer's wife, who 
swore positively to his being one of the party that broke into 
the room, but the jury was led to distrust her statement by 
the strong evidence of an alibi proven by the defendant. Polly 
Smith, a sister to Adams Smith, and afterwards the wife of 
Moses Matthews, a girl then of twelve years, and Col. Everett 
also gave strong evidence for the defendants which was all 
owing to the sly movements of the party in coming and going. 

After the conviction of Woods, the defendants made a 
point that it was only a misdemeanor punishable by a fine and 
imprisonment in the county jail, and the court concurred in 
that opinion. A number of persons were presented to the 
grand jury of Meigs county for interfering with Col. Lewis 
when making arrests. Some were indicted but the evidence 
Was not strong enough to warrant a conviction. 

John S. Giles, Sr., was born in Maine, February 28th, 1795, 
and died in Rutland, O., May 18th, 1889, aged 86 years, 2 
months and 20 days." 

William Church was a native of Maine, was married twice. 
His first wife died, leaving two children — Samuel and Rhoda. 
Mr. Church married for his second wife a sister of the first 
wife, and a family of six sons and two daughters were born to 
them. He moved from Maine in 1816, with a family of seven 

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154 Pioneer History of Meigs County 

sons and one daughter, and came to Rutland, O., in 1817. He 
was a millwright, and lived in Rutland until his death in 1821. 
The children were: Samuel, a millwright, a fine mechanic, 
who lived and died in Pomeroy, O. Clement Church was 
a mechanic and a farmer. He lived and died in Rutland, leav- 
ing several children. William Church lived and died in Rut- 
land. Joseph Church had a paralytic stroke when quite a 
young man, but lived to marry and rear a large family of chil • 
dren. He settled in Salisbury township. John Church went 
to Minnesota, owned a farm and brought up a family. He 
died in Minnesota. Oliver Church moved to Marion county, 
O., and had a good farm, and died there at the age of ninety 
years, leaving a number of descendants. Alfred Church 
moved to Illinois, where he owned a mill and carried on that 
business until his death. Charles Church lived in Pomeroy, 
and was killed by the explosion of a boiler in the Pomeroy 
rolling mill in 1866. 

Sarah Church was married to Curtis Larkin, who died in 
1898, leaving a widow and one son, George B. Larkin, with 
whom she has a home, and lives in the enjoyment of good 
health, in her ninety-first year. 1908. G. B. L. 

Clement Church married Hannah Buxton, who was born 
in England November 2, 1808, and came to Ohio in 1817, and 
became the wife of Clement Church in November, 1829. They 
had six children, three sons and three daughters — Royal 
Church and James Church, and Mrs. Maria Shepherd and 
Mrs. Eliza Thompson. Mrs. Hannah Church died in August, 
1896, aged 87 years, 9 months, 6 days. 

Mrs. Elizabeth Church, widow of William Church, Sr., was 
married to John Hoyt, and died in July, 1859; was buried at 
Hoyt Town, Meigs county, Ohio. 

There are many families of the name of Hoyt in Olive town- 
ship and Orange, but no record of names or dates have been 
furnished for Mr. Larkin's manuscript, and the same fact is 

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Pioneer History of Meigs County 155 

evident in the lack of family history of the name of Stout in 
and about Chester township. Their names are always asso- 
ciated with the reputation of citizens of the best influence 
and character. 


Randall Stivers was born in New Jersey and was the son of 
Daniel Stivers, a Revolutionary soldier. Mr. Stivers married 
Phebe Ball, a native of Vermont, and a daughter of Samuel 
Ball, a Revolutionary soldier. They came with four children 
to Graham's Station (now Racine), in 1816, having come from 
Olean, N. Y., on a raft of pine lumber. 

He was a brickmaker by trade, and found employment in 
that business at Graham Station, remained there for two 
years. Hearing of the discovery of coal, easily accessible, and 
near the Ohio river bank at Kerr's run, he removed to that 
place, where they lived three years. In those first five years 
in Ohio they experienced the privations and hardships as fully 
as generally fall to the lot of early emigrants. In a sparsely 
settled neighborhood, with barely sufficient means for support 
as the common lot of the people, they built a school-house and 
hired teachers. In 1819, the new county of Meigs was organ- 
ized, and about 1821 the county seat was located at Chester, 
to which place Mr. Stivers removed his family in 1822. He 
was elected Justice of the Peace in Chester, and held the office 
for several years. He served four years as Sheriff, and was 
twice elected to the State Legislature. He was a promotor 
and patron of schools, and always interested in churches and 
works of benevolence. He was fearless in expressing his 
sentiments, and society and public affairs felt the influence of 
his opinions. Mr. Randall Stivers and his wife reared a large 
family, all of whom were prominent in business, or in political 
and educational lines. There were six sons and four daughters. 

Washington Stivers was married twice. Julia Stanley was 
his first wife, and Caroline Fisher the second. He was a mer- 
chant, and sold goods in Pomeroy for a number of years. 

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156 Pioneer History of Meigs County 

Afterwards he moved to Chattanooga, Tenn., where he died in 
ripe old age. 

Aaron Stivers was married twice; the first wife was Miss 
Kerr; the second, Miss Cole. Mr. Aaron Stivers was one of 
the best known men in Meigs county, serving as Auditor and 
Deputy Auditor for many years. He made and published a 
large wall map of the county, suitable for school-houses, a 
work of thoroughly correct presentation. 

He was one of the most active members of the Meigs County 
Pioneer Association, and served as its Recording Secretary for 
seven years. He removed to Alton, Iowa, where he died 
November 29th, 1893, aged 77 years. 

Katharine Stivers was married to Theodore Montague, a 
lawyer who lived in Chester until the county seat was taken to 
Pomeroy, when they removed to Middleport, and continued as 
useful members of society for many years. In later life they 
made their home in Chattanooga, and there they both died. 

Serena Stivers became the wife of Mr. Allen, of Middleport, 
and died in middle life, leaving a husband and interesting 

George Stivers married in Meigs county, but moved west. 
He was a soldier in the Civil war, and died soon afterward. 

William Stivers went from Chester to Indiana, married 
there, and had a family. He was engaged in business, and 
was elected to the legislature, serving with credit to himself 
and constituents. He died in Indiana. 

Charles Stivers settled in Kentucky, where he married. 

Randall Stivers was the youngest son, and accompanied his 
father, Randall Stivers, Sr., to California on the overland route 
in 1849, and died in California. 

Urania Stivers was born in Chester, December 25th, 1827, 
and received her education in the Academy at Chester, and 
later in a prosperous seminary in Ashland, Kentucky. In her 
early teens she became a teacher in the public schools in 

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Pioneer History of Meigs County 157 

Meigs county. She taught many years in the Pomeroy 
schools, a highly respected and successful teacher. 

Caroline Stivers, the younger sister, acquired her education 
in the same schools with her sister Urania, and was also a 
popular school teacher, yet she was employed in the office of 
the Auditor, with her brother Aaron Stivers for several con- 
secutive years. These sisters left Meigs county in 1884, and 
finally located in Des Moines, Iowa. Their influence for right 
principles and useful lives was evident through all the years 
as teachers in Pomeroy, Ohio, as well as in less active years 
in Des Moines, Iowa. 

Randall Stivers, Sr., and his wife, Phebe B. Stivers, both 
died in Pomeroy, and are buried side by side in the beautiful 
Beech Grove Cemetery. 

Pioneer travel on the Ohio river, for neighborly intercourse, 
or traffic, seems to have been done in canoes, while flatboats 
were in use for the transportation of families, produce and 
goods down the stream; but when it was necessary to carry 
on trade up and down the river, keel-boats were employed, 
until steamboat navigation superseded their mode as merchant 
carriers. The first steamboat that ever passed down the Ohio 
river is said to have been the New Orleans, built at Pittsburg 
by Mr. Roosevelt, and which left that port in October, 1811. 
and reached Natchez, Miss., in January, 1812. Earthquakes 
occurred during the trip down. Few charts of the river were 
in existence, and the falls at Letart were provided with a pilot 
appointed by Congress, or rather authorizing the courts of 
Gallia county to appoint a pilot for Letart falls to pilot boats 
over the falls in the Ohio river, such pilot to give bonds for 
the proper discharge of his duty. Thomas Sayre was ap- 
pointed in 1804 as such pilot. 

Adam Harpold was born October 9, 1790, and came to Le- 
tart, O., in 1812, where he married Dorothy Roush in August, 
1812. They settled on a farm, and Mr. Harpold conducted a 

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168 Pioneer History of Meigs County , 

store, the first one for dry goods and groceries in Letart town- 
ship. After the county of Meigs was organized and Courts 
of Common Pleas were held in the meeting-house in Salisbury 
township — in the July term of 1819, among the jurors im- 
paneled is the name of Adam Harpold. He was prominent 
in township oflSces and a patron of education, strictly honest in 
business transactions, and maintained the respect and confi- 
dence of the community. Mrs. Harpold was a woman of 
strong character, of wonderful physical power and vitality. 
They had a family of sixteen children, and all save one child, 
who was drowned at seven years of age — ^seven sons and eight 
daughters — grew up and married, each making a new home 
of thrift and industry. The sons were mostly farmers and 
have been identified with the material prosperity of Meigs 
county for more than sixty years. Henry Harpold, Spencer 
Harpold, Peter Harpold, Philip Harpold, William Harpold, 
George B. Harpold, John Harpold. The daughters: Mrs. 
Pickens, widow, later Mrs. Wolf ; Mrs. William Hester, widow, 
Mrs. Jacob Baker; Mrs. Michael Bentz, nee Polly Harpold; 
Mrs. Eben Sayre, Mrs. Augustus Justice, Mrs. Hezekiah 
Quillen, Mrs. Bradford Roush, Mrs. Barbara Ann McDade. 

The greater number of the Harpold sons and daughters had 
large families, so that the descendants in the third and fourth 
generations were notably numerous. 

Mr. Adam Harpold died in October, 1869, and his wife, Mrs. 
Dorothy Harpold, died in December, 1865, having lived in 
their Letart home for more than fifty years. 


"At a meeting of the associate judges of the county of 
Gallia, held at Gallipolis the tenth day of May, 1803, for the 
purpose of dividing the county of Gallia into townships and to 
apportion to each township a proper number of justices of the 
peace, and for other purposes; present, Robert Safford and 
George W. Putnam, 

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Pioneer History of Meigs County 159 

"The said county was divided into three townships, named 
and bounded as follows: Letart township, beginning at the 
mouth of Shade river; thence down the Ohio river to Kerr's 
run ; thence north to the county line ; thence east with the said 
line to the place of beginning; and that one justice of the peace 
is the proper number to be elected in said township, and that 
the election be held at the house of Henry Roush." From 
Gallia county records. 

From the foregoing we find that Henry Roush, Sr, lived in 
Letart township in 1803, but at what date he came to Ohio we 
are not informed. 

Henry Roush, Sr., owned land in Letart, Ohio, opposite 
Letart Falls, and brought up a large family. 

His son, Henry Roush, Jr., entered land in 1808, or pur- 
chased of the Ohio Land- Company's Purchase, thirty-seven 
acres, as shown by the Gallia county records. He married 
Anna Say re, of Mill Creek, Va., and settled on their farm in 
Letart, where they had a family of ten daughters and two sons. 
Sally Roush was married to Thomas Coleman, of Muses Bot- 
tom, W. Va. Betsy was the wife of Samuel Roberts, later 
married Henry Wolf, of Racine. Lydia was married twice — to 
Charles McClain — widow — Mr. Wagner. Anna was the wife 
of Mark Sayre ; lived and died in Great Bend, Ohio. Hannah 
was married to Mr. Coleman; a widow — married — Mr. Jack- 
son. Dorothy was the wife of Silas Jones, a prominent mem- 
ber of the Pioneer Association. Phebe was married to Elijah 
Runner, a son of an early settler of that name. Katharine was 
the wife of Morris Greenlee. Almena was married to Jacob 
Brinker, of West Virginia. Mahala was the wife of a Mr. 

Edward Roush married Julia Sparr; moved to Illinois and 
died. David Roush married Maria Hayman ; moved to Grand 
Rapids; is dead. 

Mr. Henry Roush, Jr., died at an advanced age, and his wife, 
Mrs. Anna Roush, attained the remarkable age of 105 years at 

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160 Pioneer History of Meigs County 

her decease. They were worthy people, and their children 
were all esteemed members of society. 

Mrs. Dorothy Harpold was a daughter of Henry Roush, Sr. 

Paper by Mr. Charles Matthews, of Washington, D. C, as 
published in the Leader, March 12th, 1908: 

"Among the earliest settlers of Meigs county was George 
Washington Putnam, son of Colonel Israel Putnam and 
grandson of General Israel Putnam. George W. Putnam was 
born in Pomfret, Conn., July 27th, 1777. After the Indian war 
he came to Ohio with his father and his family, driving one of 
the teams, along with the late Phineas Matthews, of Cheshire, 
who also drove one of Colonel Putnam's teams. George W. 
Putnam was married March 31st, 1799, to Lucinda Oliver, 
daughter of Colonel Alexander Oliver, of Washington county, 
and settled on lands then in Washington county, now located 
mostly in Gallia county, but the fraction of land on which he 
built his house is now located in Meigs county, on what is 
known as the Jacob Coughenour farm, between the turnpike 
and the river and from the Carl coal railway down the river 
to where the township line strikes the river. He also owned 
two lOO-acre lots, Nos. 392 and 395, immediately west, now in 
Cheshire township. His dwelling stood on the lower part of 
the fraction of land now in Meigs county, where he lived and 
died before Meigs county was formed. 

Their children were Sarah, Lucretia, George W., Jr., Isabel 
and Clarinda. Sarah married Henry Sisson, February 16th, 
1818. He was killed by the falling of a tree January 10th, 
1827. George W. Putnam was the first county judge of Gallia 
county. He died in May, 1815, of what was known as the 
"cold plague." Whatever that may have been, it was cer- 
tainly contagious, for the reason that Mrs. Mary (Russell) 
Matthews, first wife of Phineas Matthews, who volunteered to 
help attend their old friend during his illness and until his 
death, was then herself taken with the same disease and died 
in a short time. Another version of his death is that he was 

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Pioneer History of Meigs County 161 

helping Phineas Matthews shear his sheep, became overheated, 
drank too much cold water and was taken with the "cold 
plague" and died at the Matthews farm house. Mrs. Matthews 
nursed him, took the same disease and died within a week 
(June 4th, 1815), leaving an infant son, a few days less than 
two months old. 

Mr. Putnam was buried on his farm, and several of his fam- 
ily were afterwards buried beside him. His unmarked g^ave 
is located immediately below the Carl coal railway, about half 
way from the turnpike to the river. Formerly there was a 
tombstone at his g^ave, but about. four years ago some of his 
relatives bought a lot in the Qffa¥e4 'Hill *Cemetery, Cheshire 
township, and moved the tombstone to that cemetery, but did 
not remove the remains of Mr. Putnam of his family. The 
grave can yet be located by Mr. Coughenour or W. P. Cohen 
or his mother. The son has repeatetjly told me that he "would 
be willing to undertake to rem6ve his remains to Gravel Hill 
Cemetery." Copied by E. L. B. 

Tumuli or mounds were seen in various localities, 
always bearing evidence of man's work in their construction; 
always conical in shape and usually situated on the top of 
hills, as favorable to watch tower use. The curiosity of many 
settlers, ignorant and otherwise, despoiled these peculiar 
mounds by digging them down to find what might be en- 
tombed within. Human skeletons, pottery, mica and stone 
axes, copper rings, were exhumed in most places. There were 
in Lebanon township several mounds, one on the Bicknell 
farm that had a well defined fortification in the shape of a 
horseshoe surrounding the mound at a regular distance from 
the base. This mound was never opened, but, being in a field 
of level land, was plowed over, and very much of the hill shape 
was leveled. A larger mound on the James Hall farm was 
opened, and human bones, trinkets of copper, mica and curious 
stone arrows, pipes ?tnd stone axe§ w^re disclosed. In Rutland 

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162 Pioneer History of Meigs County 

township was a large mound on the hill near the center of Sec- 
tion No. 7. It was twelve feet high, and the bones of a very 
large man were found there. A small one on white clay bot- 
tom was on the Stevens farm ; also one on the southeast quar- 
ter of Section No. 8. A large mound on fraction No. 13 was 
known as the one on which Samuel Denny stood and made an 
oration July 4th, 1806. 

According to the measurements and calculations by a civil 
engineer, Henry Grayum, in 1873, the principal coal seam in 
Meigs and Gallia county has a dip to the east of about twenty- 
seven feet and to the south five feet to the mile. The greatest 
elevation in the measurements taken was at Braley's salt vsrell, 
840 feet, and its least at Antiquity, 377 feet, a difference of 463 
feet in the direction of tidewater at Norfolk, Va. 

Samuel Denny was a prominent actor in nearly all the pub- 
lic transactions on Leading creek, and by many persons his 
name was supposed to be Dana, but the reading of his letters 
and business accounts show that he subscribed his name as 
Samuel Denny. 

Livingston Smith was the son of Noah Smith and his wife 
and was born in Vermont in 1796, but came with his mother 
to Leading creek, Ohio, in 1800, his father, Noah Smith, hav- 
ing died in Carlisle, Pa., while moving with his family to Ohio. 
Livingston grew up to manhood, married Eliza Case and set- 
tled on a farm in Rutland township and reared a family. Mr. 
Smith was a good citizen, intelligent and esteemed by the 
community, and lived and died in Rutland township. Virgil 
C. Smith was the son of Livingston Smith and was born No- 
vember 28th, 1833, and married Mary Plummer in 1857, 
who died in 1875. He was married the second time, to Agnes 
C. Torrence, in 1876. He was a farther and also a minister of 
the Christian Church. He lived in Rutland and was identified 
with every enterprise for the moral elevation of the dependent 

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Pioneer History of Meigs County 163 

and neglected. He was the recording secretary of the Pioneer 
Society of Meigs county at the time of his death, in March, 
1885, a man loved by his friends and respected by his neigh- 
bors. He left a widow and seven children. 

Mrs. Noah Smith, the mother of livingston Smith, came 
from Vermont to Leading Creek, Ohio, with three daughters, 
besides the son, heretofore mentioned. They were : Theresa, 
who was married to Eliezer Barker, who was drowned in 
Leading creek in June, 1813. She afterwards was Mrs. Laun- 
dress Grant. Jenny Smith married a Mr. Maples. Nancy 
Smith became the wife of Captain Jesse Hubbell. 

William Johnson was born in Ireland and married Sally 
Harmon. They emigrated to the United States and came to 
Shade river in Chester township in 1800. There they made a 
home, in which they raised a large family. This was a relig- 
ious family, and all lived to honor their pious parentage. 
Abram Johnson was a local preacher, and Thomas Johnson 
moved west. Mary was the wife of John Miles. Adaline, Mrs. 
Henry Ellis. Sarah, Mrs. John Wolf. William Johnson and 
his wife died in 1836 and 1848. 

John Entsminger was born in Virginia in September, 1757, 
and when but a youth of seventeen years was an active par- 
ticipant in the battle at Point Pleasant under the immediate 
command of Colonel Charles Lewis. He was a soldier in the 
Revolutionary War under General Francis Marion and sub- 
sequently under General Morgan. He fought at the battle of 
Cowpens. Many incidents of soldier life were related by him 
in later years to his children. Mr. Enstminger was captured 
by the British at one time, but released on condition that he 
would go home and fight no more. A comrade, whose name 
was Vansant, and he started home, but on the way they came 
across several Tories who were building a house and who 
twitted them about having been captured. They went on a 

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164 Pioneer History of Meigs County 

little farther, when Mr. Entsminger said to his comrade, "I 
wish we had thrashed them," and, going on a little farther, he 
said, "Let's go back and thrash them." So they turned back 
and whipped the Tory men, took them prisoners and marched 
with them to the Continental army and again took up arms 
and served until the close of the war for independence. John 
Entsminger married Jane Reese, February 16th, 1787. She 
was born on July 26th, 1759. They moved with their family 
from Botetourt county, Va., to Ohio, in the fall of 1797. They 
traveled overland, bringing their stock and household goods 
with them. They wouWi travel all day and camp at night. 
Sometimes stopping ad^y to cbbk and bake, when necessary. 
They milked their cows, and after using what milk they want- 
ed put the rest of it in the churn, set the churn in the wagon, 
and the butter was ready to take out when they stopped at 
night. They crossed ''the Ohio river about five miles above 
where GalHpolis now i stands, known then as French Town. 
At that time, leaving out the primitive town, there was but 
one house besides theirs in a radius of ten miles on the Ohio 
side of the river. They ground com on hand mills and went 
to Logan for flour. Later they could buy flour from the canoe- 
men who poled their crafts up stream. Salted bear meat and 
fresh game supplied their tables. Although fifty-five years of 
age, Mr. Entsminger volunteered and served a term under 
General Tupper in 1812 in the Northwest. His eldest son^ 
David Entsminger, was a soldier in the War of 1812. Mr. 
John Entsminger and his wife had a family of two sons and 
four daughters. David, John Lewis. The daughters were: 
Mrs. Luther Shepherd, Mrs. John Bing, Mrs. Daniel Gra5rum 
and Mrs. David Gra5rum, who was left a widow with two 
daughters and two sons. Henry Grayum served as major in 
the Civil War; William Grayum was a captain in the Fourth 
West Virginia from the first to the close of the war in 1865. 
Mr. John Entsminger felt crowded when the settlers moved 
into that neighborhood, so he went farther into the wilderness 

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Pioneer History of Meigs County 165 

and located near where Langsville is now and lived there with 
his son, John Lewis Entsminger, until the close of his event- 
ful life, on October 10th, 1830, fifty-six years to a day from the 
celebrated battle of Point Pleasant, aged seventy-eight years. 
He was buried in the Miles Cemetery. Mrs. Jane Entsminger 
died May 19th, 1830, in the seventy-first year of her age, and 
is buried in the Miles Cemetery at Rutland, Ohio. 

George Wolfe, father of John, Jacob, Peter and Henry 
Wolfe, came from the Shenandoah valley of Virginia to the 
rich bottom lands on the Ohio river adjoining the present 
village of Racine, about 1807 or 1808, date uncertain. He 
felled the great trees and toiled hard to clear land for cultiva- 
tion, and in 1812 his sons, John Wolfe and Jacob Wolfe, who 
had families, emigrated to Ohio. John Wolfe, with a four- 
horse covered wagon, came over the Alleghany mountains to 
inherit the home founded by the father, George Wolfe. There 
were two younger brothers, Peter and Henry Wolfe. John 
Wolfe and Jacob Wolfe built each of them a two-story brick 
house on the river front of their respective farms and reared 
large families. They tilled the land, planted fruit trees and 
lived to see a numerous posterity grow up around their homes, 
a quiet, honest, industrious people. The Wolfe bottoms have 
been owned and cultivated by the descendants of George 
Wolfe for at least one hundred years. In recent years the 
families have been distributed over other sections of the coun- 

The first Regular Baptist Church in Rutland was organized 
on November 27th, 1817, by members signing the covenant, 
seven men and three women. Benjamin Richardson, clerk, 
and Thomas Everton, deacon. The church was further organ- 
ized on October 31st, 1818, by the following persons signing 
the covenant: Thomas Everton, Asahel Skinner, Anson Gas- 
ton, Benjamin Richardson, Robert Simpson, Relief Everton, 

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166 Pioneer History of Meigs County 

Betsy Richardson, Elizabeth Holt, Thomas Gaston, Jared 
Gaston, Ebenezer Everton, Laundress Grant, William Stevens, 
Joseph Richardson, Sally Stevens, Bethiah Simpson. 

The first preachers were Aaron Holt, Peter Aleshire, Horace 
Persons and Thomas Gaston. Afterwards other ministers 
preached at different times — ^James Hovey, Amos Stevens and 
James McAboy. The brick schoolhouse was used for religious 
worship by several denominations — the Free Will Baptists, 
Presbyterians, Methodists, Regular Baptists and Universal- 
ists. The Presbyterians built a church on the lot by the 
Plummer homestead in 1820, it being the first church erected 
in Rutland township. The Regular Baptists built their church 
in 1838. Benjamin Richardson gave the lot and did a large 
share toward building the house. The first Disciples, or 
Christian church, in Rutland was built on a lot given by Rev. 
Elisha Rathburn. 

Rutland Cemetery was surveyed and laid out in lots in 1824 
by Samuel Halliday. The place had been used as a burying 
ground for a long time, but the interments had been made 
without regularity, so that it was difficult to make the proper 
arrangement of the premises when surveyed by Mr. Halliday. 
The lots were made 8 by 33 feet in size. Later, in 1872, the 
township of Rutland bought of George McQuigg the cemetery 
grounds, which, including the "old graveyard," contains three 
and three-quarters acres of land. The size of the new lots, 
10 by 24 feet, which are staked and numbered. 

The first burial in what is now Rutland township, from the 
settlement in 1805, was that of a girl nine years of age and 
who was buried on the Higley farm, a spot afterwards aban- 
doned, but a family burying place was made on the Higley 
grounds in subsequent years. Many persons were buried on 
the Phelps farm. Some of the pioneers were interred on their 
own land. The first grave made in the Miles' Cemetery was 
for a little child, but no date is known. Dr. Clark, from New 
England, came to Ohio in quest of health, and died soon after 

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Pioneer History of Meigs County 167 

his arrival and was the second person buried there, but his 
grave was unmarked and the precise location is lost, as is 
many another one. 

John Hayman and family came from Somerset county, Md., 
about 1810. They came first to Letart Falls, in Virginia, but 
soon removed to Letart, Ohio. Their eldest son was Spencer 
Marshall Hayman, who married Jerusha Chapman, a daughter 
of Ezra Chapman, an old settler in Letart township. Spencer 
M. Hayman was a surveyor and after the organization of 
Meigs county, was elected as surveyor for the county, and 
served the public in that office for many consecutive terms. 
He was also justice of the peace and the first postmaster at 
Apple Grove, so named because of Mr. Hayman's large orchard 
of fine fruit. They brought up a large family — three sons and 
five daughters. The sons were : Ezra Hayman, who married 
Sally Wright, of Mill Creek, W. Va., who lived and died in 
Letart township. Henry Hayman was married twice. His 
first wife was Minerva Marvin, a daughter of Calvin Marvin ; 
the second wife was a Miss Harding. Henry Hayman lived 
in Mercer's Bottom, where he died. Harrison Hayman mar- 
ried Agnes Williamson, a daughter of Wilkinson D. William- 
son, of Lebanon township, Meigs county, Ohio. They settled 
in Warth's Bottom, W. Va. Both are dead. The daughters : 
Sinai Hayman was the wife of Hillman Parr. Betsy Hayman 
was married to William McKay, of Warth's Bottom. Minerva 
was Mrs. Ephraim L Sayre, of Letart township. 

Martha Ann Hayman was married to Elson Paden, and 
their home was just below Letart Falls, in Ohio. They were 
noted for true Christian lives and benevolence. 

Angeline Hayman was the wife of a Mr. Paden; both died 

Kitty Hayman married James Ashworth. Both died soon. 

Josiah Hayman was the second son of John Hayman and 
was in the family that moved from Maryland. He married 
Nancy Ford, a daughter of Mrs. Esther Ford, a widow, who 

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i66 Pioneer History of Meigs Cou'^tit 

came from Maryland at the time of the senior Hayman's emi- 
gration to Ohio. Josiah Hay man lived in Letart township, 
where they* brought up a large family. Mr. Hayman was a 
local preacher, belonging to the Methodist Episcopal Church, 
and a fine singer, noted for leading large congregations on 
camp grounds. They had a family of sons — Wesley, Henry, 
Calvin, Lewis, William and Charles; daughters — Elizabeth, 
Mary Ann, Regina and Adaline Esther. Wesley Hayman 
married Thirza Maria Cross, became insane, never recovered. 
Henry Hayman married Margaret Wagner and lived in Letart. 
He was a man highly esteemed by a large circle of friends and 
acquaintances. He was elected sheriflE one or two terms. 
Always identified with the affairs of his church as steward, 
class leader and Sunday school superintendent They reared a 
family of worthy citizens. Calvin and Lewis Hayman died in 
young manhood. 

William Hayman, son of Josiah Hayman and his wife, was 
married to Mary Jane Donally, a daughter of Andrew B. Don- 
ally, many years clerk of the Court of Common Pleas, Meigs 
county. He made their home at Letart Falls, W. Va. Was a 
merchant. Esther Hayman became the wife of Lewis Pil- 
chard ; lived at Letart Falls. Elizabeth married John Ritchie, 
but died soon afterwards. Regina was the wife of Townsend 
Smart ; lived in Racine and died there, leaving a family of five 
children — Arthur, Frank, William, Earl and one daughter. 

Adaline Hayman was the wife of Philip Jones, of West Vir- 

Hezekiah Hayman was a nephew of John Hayman, Sr., and 
moved with his family from Maryland in company with his 
uncle to Ohio in about 1810. One son, Robert Hayman, lives 
in Middleport, Ohio. Stephen Hayman married Letitia Cald- 
well, and their children were: John N. Hayman, one of the 
commissioners of Meigs county for several terms; Stephen 

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Pioneer History of Meigs County 169 

Hayman, of Grand Island, Neb., and Maria, the widow of 
David Roush, who died at Grand Island, Neb. 

Jphn Wagner was born May 12th, 1792, and came to Letart, 
Ohio, from Lancaster, Pa., after the War of 1812. He was a 
soldier in that war. He married Elizabeth Himeleich in 1818 
and settled in Letart, Ohio. They had three children — George 
H. Wagner, Alfred N. and Margaret, who became the wife of 
Henry Hayman, son of Josiah Hayman. Mrs. Elizabeth 
Wagner died in October, 1821. Mr. Wagner married a second 
wife, a widow, Mrs. Lydia McClain, and they had two chil- 
dren. Mr. John Wagner died in March, 1882, and Mrs. 
Lydia Wagner died at ninety years of age. 

George Burns came from Philadelphia to Letart, Ohio, at 
an early day. Had charge of a floating mill at Letart Falls 
and kept a store, said to be the first at Letart, Ohio. There 
was a family of three daughters and one son, George Burns, 
Jr. The eldest daughter was Mrs. Alfred Beauchamp, of 
Elizabeth, W. Va. Caroline became the wife of Thomas Alex- 
ander, of Letart, and spent her long life in their home in 
Letart, where they brought up a family of eleven children. 
They were influential and highly respected people. They died 
at the advanced ages of eighty-four and ninety years. Regina 
Burns was married to John Caldwell and made a home in 
Letart, where they brought up a family. She died many years 

Obadiah Walker and Cassandra Walker, nee Halsey, lived 
in Chester township in 1805 and spent their long lives in the 
same locality. They were good citizens and brought up a 
large family of sons and daughters. 

Jesse Walker, the eldest child, was born in 1806. He was 
twice married. Miss P. M. Richardson was the first wife, but 
dying, left two children. He then married Margaret Mauck, 
of Cheshire, Gallia county, where they made their home 

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170 Pioneer History of Meigs County 

until death. They had two children. Jesse Walker died at 
the ripe age of eighty-five years, a kind, upright man, a mem- 
ber of the Free Will Baptist Church from his youth. Milton 
Walker married Harriet Newel and lived in Chester several 
years, and then went to Illinois. They were Methodists, earn- 
est Christians. Selden Walker, Vincent Walker and Obadiah 
Walker were younger sons. Vincent married Sevilla Weldon 
and moved to Iowa and died there. Obadiah married Emily 
Weldon ; lived and died in Chester township. Bethia Walker 
was the wife of Baza Wells, in Chester. She had two children, 
but buried them and her husband also. She was married 
afterwards to Benjamin Brown, of Athens, Ohio. All are 

Melissa Walker married and was left a widow in Iowa. 
Emeline Walker was the wife of William Church, in Rutland. 
Ohio, where he died, and she went to Iowa. Samaria Walker 
was married to James Decker, of Lebanon township. They 
had two or three children. Mr. Decker and Mrs. Decker died 
in Lebanon township. Caroline Walker was married to Abner 
Hissim, of Tanner's Run, Ohio, but later they removed to 

In the Gallia county records of deeds made for lands coming 
within the boundary of Meigs county when organized is the 
name of Thomas Halsey, purchaser, 1792. The family of 
Halsey have continued in Chester and Orange townships, with 
their descendants. 

Dr. Fenn Robinson was the most noted doctor within the 
boundaries included in Meigs county in the pioneer days. He 
had an extensive practice, and he was equal to any emergency. 
His saddle pockets were receptacles for all medicines needed, 
with compartments for surgical instruments. He could pull a 
tooth or cut off a man's leg, if necessity required, lance an 
abscess or an arm, spread a fly blister plaster or set a dislo- 

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Pioneer History of Meigs County ITl 

cated joint. He rode through the woods, following road or 
trail, through creeks, at high or low tide, in rain or snow, at 
night or in the day — he found the way. His patients believed 
in him and had faith in his skill. His travels were in a radius 
of more than thirty miles from his home at Chester, and he 
was the family doctor for two or more generations. No trained 
nurse with sick folks then, nor pharmacist to fill prescriptions. 
He reared a large and highly respectable family. Dr. Robin- 
son never ran for Congress nor sued a poor man for his bill. 
His honors rested on a noble life. 

John Hall and his wife, Sarah Hall, nee Hahurst, came from 
Pennsylvania and settled on a tract of land in Letart town- 
ship above the mouth of Old Town creek, known as Ohio 
river bottom land, in the year 1811. Mrs. Hall was reared by 
Quaker parents. They were industrious and thrifty and 
cleared for cultivation their large farm. They had a large 
family of sons and daughters. 

James Hall, the eldest son, married Leah Ford, and they 
lived in Lebanon township and brought up a family. Their 
children were: William Henry Hall, Wesley, Thomas, Isaac 
Lewis, Spencer Marshall and a son Benjamin, who died in 
childhood. Two daughters were : Sarah, who was married to 
Hamilton Parr and lived in Brown county, Ohio. Ann Maria 
Hall died in young womanhood. James Hall was elected jus- 
tice of the peace and served one or two terms. He was post- 
master for Great Bend, Ohio, several years. He died in 1885 
or 1886. Mrs. Hall lived to the great age of eighty-seven 
years, a most excellent woman. They both died in Great 
Bend, Ohio. Job Hall married Betsy Smith, daughter of Solo- 
mon Smith. She died early, leaving two children. Job HaU 
was killed on his boat on the Yazoo river, supposedly for 

Ela Hall married Polly Lasley. John Hall married Silvina 
Buffington. Aaron Hall married Nancy Crall. The daughters 

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172 Pioneer History of Meigs County 

were: Nancy Hall, the wife of Isaac Lauck, and moved to 
Missouri. Rachel was married to Ezra Lauck, and they went 
west. Matilda Hall was married twice — first to Mr. Shafer 
and afterwards to John Lee. She lived and died in Lebanon 
township. Mary Hall was Mrs. Owen Darby ; they went west. 
Delilah was married to a Mr. Lornes and died in Great Bend. 
Sarah Ann was married three times. The first husband, George 
Cummings, who died. Mr. Ezekiel Custer, Sr., was the second 
husband, and John Warner third. 

Mr. John Hall, Sr., died in middle age, but left a will that 
was the puzzle for lawyers for two generations. Mrs. Sarah 
Hall died in the early seventies, living and dying on their 
homestead farm. 

The Sayres are a numerous people, residing in Letart, Ohio, 
and Letart, W. Va. David Sayre entered land in Letart town- 
ship in 1803. There are several branches of the name, de- 
scendants in four and five generations, living in Meigs county. 
Daniel Sayre, father of Moses E. Sayre and great-grandfather 
to the Hon. Edgar Ervin, were first settlers in Letart township. 
As a people the Sayres were religious, good, prosperous citi- 
zens. Mr. Ervin is a member of the Ohio Legislature, a native 
of Meigs, and has reflected credit on his family and won popu- 
larity for his own public services in the Ohio Legislature for 
the years of 1907 and 1908. 

At the pioneer meeting in August, 1890, Mr. Phineas Robin- 
son made a speech, in which he said that "in early times silver 
was the coin most in use by the common people, and that it 
was often cut into four or five parts to make change," a fact 
that the writer of this article well remembers. Mr. Robinson 
also gave a history of the Keg Company of Chester, which 
was undoubtedly correct as he stated it, but not as published 
from report in the Telegraph. Therefore this reviewer wishes 
to state the case as he understands it. 

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Pioneer History of Meigs County 173 

About 1825 or 1826, not sure as to date, a company was 
formed, it was said, of Nathan Newsom, a tanner, who lived in 
Chester ; Moses Green, of Orange township, said to be a horse 
jockey, who had married into a very respectable family ; Nich- 
olas Lake, who also had a very respectable woman for a wife, 
and John Nolan, a batchelor, who lived about Chester at that 
time, not a bad man naturally, but so constituted that he could 
be made a cat's paw when needed. The Keg Company made 
and sold counterfeit money, silver dollars, that could not be 
told from the genuine, and they would exchange two dollars 
for one good one. So one man, having two or three hundred 
dollars, agreed to buy of the spurious coin, and, repairing to a 
secret room, his money was counted out on a table, when the 
lights were suddenly put out and all the money swept off from 
the table. The man lost his money. He went before the gjand 
jury, and the four men were indicted. They could not arrest 
Newsom and Green, they fleeing to parts unknown. An officer 
tried to arrest Nolan, who stabbed the officer and was sent to 
the penitentiary for it. As soon as he had served his time he 
left for New Orleans, where it was said that he became a 
wealthy and respectable citizen. 

Lake had stolen a horse in Athens county and Was sent to 
the penitentiary for that act. While in prison he, with others, 
was taken under gfuard outside to work. Lake attempted to 
run away, the guard shot and wounded him so that he died. 

In 1818 Dr. David Gardner and his brother Charles came to 
Chester, Ohio. They bought out Mr. Levi Stedman's store 
and filled it with goods purchased in the Eastern cities. Charles 
Gardner went back to Long Island, New York, but Dr. Gardner 
remained in Chester many years and died there; also Mrs. 
Gardner, and both are buried in the Chester Cemetery. Their 
daughter was married to Mr. Maples, an Episcopal clergyman, 
who was rector of Grace Church in Pomeroy, Ohio, and influ- 
ential in the erection of the neat Gothic church in that place. 

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174 Pioneer History of Meigs County 

After a long and successful pastorate, winning high regard for 
his character, he unfortunately became insane and died in the 
Athens Hospital for the Insane. 

Edward Weldon was married to Mary Paris in Dublin, Ire- 
land, and emigrated to the United States. The precise date is 
not on record, but they located for a few years in Washington 
county. Pa., where Mr. Edward Weldon died; also two sons, 
each one named Edward. The widow, Mrs. Weldon, moved 
first to the Lewis farm, above Point Pleasant, Va., and stayed 
one year, when she removed with her family to Chester, Ohio. 
The children were: Frank Weldon, who was lost, fate un- 
known. James Weldon married Lettie Stout. William Wel- 
don married Elinor Pullins; lived and died in Chester, Ohio. 
John Weldon married Mary, daughter of Dr. Fuller Elliott; 
settled in Letart township, later Sutton, and had a family of 
sons and daughters. Richard Weldon, married Sally, daugh- 
ter of Levi Stedman, of Chester. They had two daughters — 
Emily, Mrs. Obadiah Walker, and Caroline, who was married 
to Mr. Heaton. Richard Weldon and his wife died young. 
Martha Weldon became Mrs. Samuel McKinley ; lived in Ken- 
tucky. Catharine was married to John Van Kirk, in Chester 
township. Margaret became the wife of Augustus Watkins. 

Mary Weldon was the first wife of Andrew Donnelly, clerk 
of the Court of Common Pleas for Meigs county during a long 
period of years. Mrs. Donnelly died young, leaving two chil- 
dren, Charles Donnelly and Margaret. 

Francis Weldon, son of James Weldon, married Rachel 
Cozad ; parents of Mrs. Lurinda Williamson, widow of Captain 
James Williamson, now of California. 

A remarkable meteoric shower was displayed in November 
of the year 1831. It was called "the stars falling," and created 
great alarm in some localities. Some people averred that the 
judgment day had come, while others opened their Bibles to 
read of "stars falling and men's hearts failing,*' while in many ' 
homes in sparsely settled places the inhabitants slept soundly 

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Pioneer History of Meigs County 175 

and knew nothing of the wonderful sight in the heavens re- 
ported by witnesses. 

Rev. Isaac Reynolds lived in Letart village and mingled 
with the frightened ones, allaying their fears. He said "the 
meteors fell thickly at one time, and that strange, fantastic 
shapes were assumed by many of those lurid bodies in their 
descent to the earth." The history of meteoric showers or the 
aerolites had not been taught in the schools. This event was 
generally concluded to foretell some great calamity to befall 
the world. 

Another natural phenomena was considered as an omen of 
calamity — the aurora borealis, or northern light. The beauty 
of the sky was not so impressive as the smothered belief that 
some disaster was impending, as of war or pestilence. 

A comet with a luminous following gave certain warning to 
a class of credulous folks that the end of this world was near, 
and a few believers in the Miller prophecy resided in Lebanon 
township. Time has gone on with great regfularity; spring 
and summer, autumn and winter, have banished such fears. 

A flood in the Ohio river in 1832 was a real and disastrous 
event. The inhabitants were living in houses on the river 
bank, and farmers especially had no buildings on the bluff or 
second bank to shelter themselves. In Lebanon several fam- 
ilies sought shelter in a two-story log house, but the water 
continued rising, so that at nightfall they were removed in 
flatboats to the hillside, making beds on the ground in the open 
field, although snow was falling in scattering flakes. One man 
made a pen on his flatboat for his four fat hogs and for his 
chickens, with corn for feeding them. Stock and horses were 
taken to the hills before the water had wholly covered the 
bottom lands. Houses, bams, haystacks, as well as uprooted 
trees, went hurrying by on the swollen river. 

Of the cholera in Chester in the year 1834 an account 
of the scourge was published in the Meigs County 

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176 Pioneer History of Meigs County 

Telegraph of January 20th, 1893, and copied from that 
paper into this manuscript the same year by S. C. 
Larkin. "Fifty-nine years ago since Meigs county had 
that awful experience with cholera. Chester was then the 
county seat and the chief village in the county, with a popula- 
tion of 200 souls. Of those who lived in Chester in 1834 but 
three persons remain as residents of the old village with clear 
remembrance of that event, Mrs. Dolly A. Knight, Mr. Harold 
Wells and E. Sardine Weldon, then a child of six years. Re- 
ports were in circulation of the ravages of Asiatic cholera in 
maritime cities. New York and New Orleans, and of its deadly 
prevalence in foreign countries. Mrs. Dolly Knight and her 
husband, Benjamin Knight, moved from the Ohio river, where 
Pomeroy was located later, to Chester, where Mr. Knight took 
charge of a flour mill. They were congratulated by their 
friends for getting off from the river and going to the interior, 
where they would be comparatively safe from the contagion. 
Human foresight was a failure. In Chester they took a house 
situated on the lot where the postoffice stands at present. On 
the west end of the lot was a small brick schoolhouse, used 
also for religious or church assemblies. The first case of 
cholera was Dr. James S. Hibbard, who had been called to 
Syracuse to prescribe for a man who was sick, a steamboat 
man just returned from a trip on the river. Dr. Hibbard pro- 
nounced the case cholera and prescribed accordingly. On his 
way back to Chester he was attacked with the malady and, 
getting off from his horse, took a dose of calomel, lay down 
by the roadside and fell asleep in the woods. As soon as he 
was able to remount his horse he proceeded homeward. He 
finally recovered. This occurred in July. Soon afterwards a 
son of Jasper Branch, about fourteen years of age, came to his 
work in the mill from his dinner, was taken violently ill and 
was assisted to an upper room, but grew rapidly worse, and 
before nightfall he was dead. That night a sister, older than 
he, took sick and died before morning. Two deaths in Mr. 

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Pioneer History of Meigs County 177 

Branch's family was a shock to the community. Two or 
three weeks elapsed, and then a show came to Tupper's Plains, 
which Lewis Nye, a youth, attended and remained over 
night. He was stricken with the cholera next morning 
and died in a few hours. Next in order of time was the family 
of John Ware, a saddler. He had a large family, but the 
father, mother and four children fell victims to the cholera. 
First the daughter Polly, a young woman, returned from 
church in the evening, apparently well, but that night she died. 
The next day two of her brothers were snatched away, and 
the second day the father and mother joined the dead children. 
Relatives of the Ware family came up from Gallipolis to help 
care for them, and took the survivors home, one boy dying on 
the way. Five children remained, who lived, married and set- 
tled in Meigs county, Gallia and Mason, W. Va. William 
Ware never married ; lived in his sister's home and died there 
at Miller McGlothlin's, near Ravenswood, W. Va. 

Charles Doane, a tanner, was suddenly attacked after a talk 
with Dr. Carpenter in a light vein, "that after the people all 
died, he and the doctor would open a hotel." After parting, in 
fifteen minutes the message was sent to the doctor of his sick- 
ness, and in one hour Charles Doane was dead. 

William Torrence was stricken by the epidemic, but rallied 
for a time, then relapsed and died after an illness of fourteen 
days. Mr. Harold Wells nursed William Torrence fourteen 
nights in succession without taking off his clothes to go to 
bed. Later, Myron Wells, Baza Wells, their mother and a 
sister were each prostrated with the disease, while Harold, the 
brother and son, attended them, and they all recovered. 

A son of Marcus Bosworth, about ten years of age, went to 
bed as usual, but later called his mother, "so very sick," and, 
although medicine was administered at once, by 10 o'clock the 
child was dead. A Mr. Horton, aged about forty-five years, 
was one of the fatal victims. Harold Wells, Otis Hardy and 
Van Weldon were busy all the time ministering to the sick 

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178 Pioneer History of Meigs County 

and burying the dead. Mr. Weldon was a cabinet maker and 
made the coffins for those who died. This history of the 
cholera in 1834 in Chester we believe correct and authentic. 
S. C. L. 

An incident occurred in 1833 in Lebanon township, below 
Sandy, when the cholera was epidemic in New Orleans and 
many cities, that a steamboat landed on the Ohio side of the 
river near a small graveyard on the bank and sent a messenger 
to a house not far away for permission to bury a man, then 
dead on the boat. The request was denied with rudeness, so 
frightened was the householder at the approach of cholera. 
The man was buried by the roadside. No case of the disease 
appeared in the neighborhood until the next summer, when 
the man who refused the stranger a grave was stricken with 
cholera and died, the only death from cholera ever known in 
the place. 

The second visitation of cholera at Middleport, in 1849, 
resulted in the deaths of four persons in the Baily family — Mr. 
David Baily and his wife, his daughter and son-in-law; also 
Mrs. Hudson, a sister of Mr. Bailey. Oren Jones was their 
nurse. He was a young man and claimed that by his strong 
will he was able to resist the contagion. There were a few 
cases of cholera in Pomeroy in 1849, but we are not in posses- 
sion of details. In the first seasons of the epidemic there were 
fatalities of some persons about Letart. Balser Roush and 
family, living above Racine, in Letart township, were victims ; 
several of them died. Dr. J. B. Ackley gave medical attention 
and secured assistance for care of such as needed. 

Job Story, of Bedford township, was one of the early set- 
tlers of that township and a pioneer abolitionist, who ever 
dared to vote his sentiments even in old Bedford. He died 
March 18th, 1883, aged ninety-one years. 

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Pioneer History of Meigs County 179 

Frederic Merrill and Arthur Merrill were brothers, who 
were bom in Newburyport, Mass., and moved with their 
father to Cincinnati in 1823. The family came to Meigs 
county in 1830. Frederic Merrill was a merchant in Rutland 
village. He was a township trustee several years, but returned 
to Cincinnati, where he died in 1844. 

Arthur Merrill graduated in a law school and came to Rut- 
land in 1834. He served as probate judge in Meigs county six 
years. Died in Rutland April 18th, 1881, aged sixty-eight 

Samuel Pomeroy owned the valuable coal lands first de- 
veloped in and near the town of Pomeroy, at the first quarter 
of the nineteenth century. Much territory of the Ohio Com- 
pany's Purchase is seen on the records of Gallia county and 
of Washington county as entered by Abigail Dabney, and later 
was transferred to other parties, Mr. Samuel Pomeroy, a rela- 
tive, a Boston man, who lived in Cincinnati in 1833, at the 
time that his daughter, Clara Alsop Pomeroy, became the wife 
of Valentine B. Horton, a young lawyer from Pittsburgh, Pa. 
Mr. Horton was born January 29th, 1802, in Windsor, Vt., 
having taken a military training and also a regular course in 
law, and after his marriage came directly to Pomeroy, Ohio, 
in 1833, where he opened up the coal industry that gave Meigs 
county its greatest commercial importance and laid out the 
town of Pomeroy. 

Mr. Samuel Pomeroy built a fine residence just back of the 
present Court House, but died soon afterwards. The history 
of V. B. Horton cannot receive adequate notice in these brief 
articles, and belongs in fact to a later time than the real pio- 
neer period of the early settlers. Mr. Horton died in Pomeroy, 
January 13th, 1888, at the age of 86 years. 

Mrs. Clara Alsop Horton was born in Boston, October 7th, 
1804, and with her husband made their home in Pomeroy dur- 

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180 Pioneer History of Meigs County 

ing fifty-four years of their wedded life. Her courteous man- 
ners and fine intellectual equipment made her the peer of any 
lady in any land. Her gracious charity and broad views of life 
gave her influence with the best class of people in social, civil 
or religious life. She was a devout Episcopalian, and her hus- 
band built and donated to the town of Pomeroy the elegant 
stone church of that denomination. She was a wise, exemplary 
wife and mother. They had a family of five children : Clara 
Pomeroy Horton became the wife of Gen. John Pope. Fran- 
cis Dabney Horton was married to Gen. M. F. Force of Cin- 
cinnati. Edwin Johnson Horton married a daughter of Dr. 
Estes Howe of Boston. Annie Alsop Horton died in child- 

Samuel Dana Horton became noted as a writer of promi- 
nence in monetary affairs, lived on the Continent of Europe, 
and married a daughter of a retired British officer in Switzer- 

Catharine Alsop Horton was the wife of John May of 

Mrs. Clara A. Horton died September 28th, 1894, nearly 
ninety years of age, at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Force, 
in Sandusky, Ohio. 

Martin Heckard, a lawyer, came to Meigs county about 
1838 or 1839, not certain as to date. He located in Pomeroy 
and married Miss Catharine P. Horton, a sister of the Hon. V. 
B. Horton. Mr. Heckard was the first Probate Judge of Meig^ 
county; and served three years. They had a family of three 
children. George Heckard, Lucy Heckard died in young 
womanhood. Mary Heckard went to school on the Hudson, 
and became the wife of Mr. Huntington of Long Island. Judge 
Heckard died in Pomeroy. Mrs. Heckard died at her daugh- 
ter's, Mrs. Huntington, January 9th, 1890, aged seventy-nine 

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Pioneer History of Meigs County 181 

Jacob Rice, born at Murray ville. Pa., January 2nd, 1790. He 
married Hannah Plummer, who died leaving one child, Henry 
Rice of Rutland. Mr. Jacob Rice died November 3d, 1888, 
aged 98 years, 10 months, 1 day, in Salisbury township. 

Ira McCumber was born July 5th, 1805, in Gallia county, 
and married Mary Boyer, who was bom April 29th, 1807, in 
Pennsylvania. They lived in Salem township, and Mr. Mc- 
Cumber died April 14th, 1882, aged 77 years. 

Mrs. McCumber died May 5th, 1895, aged 88 years. She was 
a member of the Pioneer Association, and died in Salem. 

The fugitive slave law was brought to notice by two men 
who had captured a slave belonging to one of the party, and 
had taken him before a justice of the peace in Gallia county, O. 
They requested a trial, and certificate for the removal of the 
slave from the State. The justice appointed the trial to be 
made the next day at 10 o'clock a. m. An anti-slavery man 
who learned when the suit was to held, started at once to 
Rutland for Nathan Simpson, a lawyer of local fame. The 
following morning Mr. Simpson and his friend started for that 
magistrate's office to watch proceedings. What could be 
done? Evidently the master had all the proof that the law 
required. When the lawyer's party got within a few miles of 
the place, they began announcing their mission and inviting 
people, every man they saw or could send word to, "to come 
and see the fun." 

At the hour, 10 o'clock, Mr. Simpson went into the court- 
room and talked with the owner; also with the slave, and 
oflFered to see that he had a fair trial. At first, he opened the 
case very mildly, but as the house filled up, the crowd looking 
through the doors and windows and every place where they 
could see or hear, Simpson's voice became louder and in- 
creased in pathos and energy with little thought about cor- 
rectness of language or logic. The slave owner became 

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182 Pioneer History of Meigs County 

alarmed, fearing the mob had collected to lynch him, and with 
his party slipped out of a back door, saying, "He would never 
follow another slave into Ohio, for when they get there they 
are beyond our reach." It is claimed that this case was the 
last capture of a slave in Ohio. 1850. 

James Petty was born in old Virginia in 1819, and came 
when quite young with his parents to Pagetown, Meigs 
county. His father Hugh Petty moved to Gallia county sub- 
sequently, and died there. James Petty married in that 
county, but lost his wife soon afterwards, when with his wid- 
owed mother, he came to Rutland, and remained there the 
rest of his life. He held many responsible local offices, justice 
of the peace, for many years. He made a home for his aged 
mother and invalid sister with filial and brotherly devotion. 
His death occurred in Rutland, Ohio, January 26th, 1891, aged 
seventy-two years. 

Mrs. A. Hoff — nee More — ^was born in Parkersburg, W. Va., 
on November 1st, 1819, and was married to J. D. Hoff January 
29th, 1839. They came to Letart, Ohio, in 1845, and to Mid- 
dleport, Ohio, in 1849. She united with the Methodist Epis- 
copal Church in her fourteenth year, and lived a consistent and 
useful life. She died in Middleport, July 18th, 1883. 

Lucinda H. Dunham, wife of Hiram B. Smith, was born in 
Washington county, Ohio, November 20th, 1808. She was the 
daughter of Amos Dunham and wife — nee Laura M. Guthrie, 
from whom she inherited a liberal share of physical and men- 
tal qualities. She obtained a fair English education at Mari- 
etta, Ohio. The family came to Pomeroy in 1837, where she 
became the wife of Mr. H. B. Smith, a lawyer and prominent 
man in business and social circles in Pomeroy, Ohio. He was 
an active member and president of the Miegs County Pioneer 
Association for several years. They had one son, who died 

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Pioneer History of Meigs County 183 

in early manhood. Mrs. Smith died in Pomeroy, Ohio, March 
17th, 1881. 

Catharine Dawson was born July 17th, 1820, in Beaver 
county. Pa., and was married to Dr. Joseph Dickson, October 
19th, 1841. They moved to Athens county the same year. 
They had five children, three of whom died in childhood. Dr. 
Dickson went with a company overland to California in 1849, 
and was killed by the accidental discharge of his own revolver 
soon after reaching California. December 11th, 1864, Mrs. 
Dickson was married to Mr. Josiah Simpson, of Rutland, Ohio, 
and removed to his home with her two daughters. She died 
June 4th, 1895. She had been a faithful member of the Free 
Will Baptist Church, a most excellent woman. 

The Bradbury family. Contributed by Judge Samuel Brad- 
bury in 1895, to the Meigs County Pioneer Association. 

"Seventy-nine years ago, December, 1816, the parents of 
Judge Samuel Bradbury floated down the Ohio river in a little 
boat and tied up at the mouth of Leading creek, where they 
entered a small log cabin, and with their seven children be- 
came citizens of the great State of Ohio. The father had but 
one dollar and fifty cents in his pocket when he landed. The 
family came from Maine, having made their way through the 
wilderness as best they could. Samuel was seven years old at 
that time. One son was born after the arrival in Ohio, who 
died at the age of thirty-eight years. The family were reared 
to honorable lives, and the sons achieved merited distinction 
in positions of honor and trust. The seven children lived to 
an average age of eighty-three years." 

Judge Samuel Bradbury was born in Maine, August 4th, 
1809, and died in Middleport, Ohio, March 1st, 1897, aged 
eighty-seven and one-half years. He had been one of the most 
active and efficient men in the organization of the Meigs 
County Pioneer Association in 1876. 

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184 Pioneer History of Meigs County 

Simeon Elliott was a brother of Judge Fuller Elliott, and 
came to Meigs, rather Washington county, in 1797, and 
bought land, situated back from the Ohio river, in what was 
later included in Sutton township. He married Lucy Putnam, 
a distant relative of George W. Putnam. They had a large 
family, reared to honorable positions in the community, in a 
home of refinement not common in those days. The sons 
were: Rey. Madison Elliott, a graduate of Marietta College 
and of Lane Seminary, Cincinnati, Ohio. He was the prin- 
cipal of the academy at Chester in 1844-45, a flourishing insti- 
tution at that time. Miss Clarissa Cutler, a daughter of Hon. 
Ephraim Cutler, was the vice-principal. Two other sons were 
Putnam Elliott, who died in early manhood, and Sumner 
Elliott, who emigrated to some Western state years ago. The 
daughters were: Nancy Elliott, Maria, Mrs. William Tor- 
rence ; he died of cholera ; then she married Mr. Phineas Rob- 
inson. Lucy, Mrs. Josiah Branch; Lury Ann, Mrs. Grin 
Branch; Adaline, Mrs. Elihu Stedman; Fidelia, and Lydia 
died unmarried. 

Mr. Simeon Elliott was called "Squire" Elliott, in distinc- 
tion from Judge Fuller Elliott, M. D. He built a tread mill 
run by horse-power, and attached to the machinery a carding 
machine. Mrs. Elliott, after being a widow many years, mar- 
ried Abel Chase, Sr., of Rutland. 

Samuel Branch settled in Chester township in 1807. He 
married Miss Tryphena Stedman, a sister of Levi Stedman, so 
long prominent in public affairs. 

Mr. Branch was a Free Will Baptist preacher, and opened 
his own house for preaching; also built a schoolhouse on his 
own land for the education of the children of the neighbor- 
hood. Mr. Branch was ready to assist in any enterprise for 
the benefit in morals or education in the community. They 
had a large family of sons and daughters. 

Samuel Branch, Jr., was a Baptist preacher. Harry and 
William were farmers. Josiah Branch married Lucy Elliott, 

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Pioneer History of Meigs County 185 

and kept a store in Chester. Orin Branch married Lury Ann 
Elliott ; they had one daughter, Julia. Mrs. Lury Ann Branch 
died early. Orin Branch moved to Pomeroy, and was county 
treasurer several years. His second wife was Miss Josephine 
Paige, an excellent woman. Hosmer Branch married and set- 
tled in Pomeroy, engaged in mercantile business. They had 
several children. 

Mary Branch was married three times — ^Wallace and Spicer 
were two of them. Lucy Branch was the wife of James Mad- 
ison Cooper. Miranda Branch was married to Mr. Cline ; lived 
in Pagetown. Rev. Samuel Branch, Sr., was a pioneer of the 
type to be honored and remembered. 

Some old, yellow papers, found among the Levi Stedman's 
documents, have been furnished for notice in the Revised 
Pioneer History of Meigs County by Miss Eva L. Walker, of 
Chester, Ohio, as belonging to the estate of Mr. Levi Sted- 
man, her great-grandfather, and we take pleasure in copying 
several of them, while all of them are interesting specimens 
of the writing and transactions of the pioneer period. We 
copy first a parchment deed, a land warrant, signed by James 
Monroe, President, with official seal of the United States of 
America attached. 

I, James Monroe, President of the United States of Amer- 
ica, to all to whom these presents shall come, greeting : 

Know ye, that in pursuance of the acts of Congress, ap- 
propriating and granting land to the late army of the United 
States, passed on and since the sixth of May, 1812, Dinah 
Byram, only heir at law of Adam Ball, having deposited in the 
General Land Office a warrant in her favor, numbered 24689, 
there is granted unto the said Dinah Byram, only heir at law 
of Adam Ball, late a private in Holt's Company of the Seven- 
teenth Regiment of Infantry, a certain tract of land containing 
one hundred and sixty acres, being the northwest quarter of 
Section 6, of Township 1 south. Range 5 east, in the tract ap- 

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186 Pioneer History of Meigs County 

propriated (by the act aforesaid) for military bounties, in the 
territory of Arkansas, to have and to hold, the said quarter 
section of land, with the appurtenances thereof, unto the said 
Dinah Byram, only heir at law of Adam Ball, December 9th, 
and to her heirs and assigns forever. 

In testimony whereof, I have caused these letters to be made 
patent, and the seal of the General Land Office to be hereunto 
affixed. Given under my hand, at the City of Washington, 
this sixteenth day of July, in the year of our Lord one thou- 
sand, eight hundred and twenty-one, and of the independence 
of the United States of America the forty-sixth. 
^ Seal of the ] By the President, 

^ General Land Office }- James Monhoe. 

[ U. S. A. J JosiAH Meigs, 

Commissioner of General Land 
Office. Exd. 

Recorded, Vol. 6, 7255. J. Wheaton. 

Levi Stedman, Esq., to Matthew Buell, Dr. : 

May 9th. To 8 doses of physic, et gm. opie $3 OO 


Aug. 10th. " Jal. Senna 25 

Sept. 12th. " Gm. Opie et Rad. Dianthus 1 50 

April 2nd. Sundry Articles, Medicine, Advice and 

attendee 12 50 

May 4th. Elix. Vit. I. loz. Cham. Emetic, I art., &c. 2 50 
July 1st. Visits to Daughter, Sundry Art. Medicine. 15 00 

Aug. 18th. Puley Ipecac Rheumatic Liniment, Elix. p — 36 25 
(non-readable) Ex. Jr., Wife 2 50 

$38 75 

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Pioneer History of Meigs County 
Dolls. 130. cts. No. 131. 


General Post Office. 
Washington City, July 1st, 1819. 
Sir — At sig^t, pay to Skinner & Barber, or order, One hun- 
dred and thirty dollars, and charge to account of this Office. 

Absiam Bradbitry, 
Assistant Post-Master GeneraL 
To Levi Stedman, Esq. ] 

Post Master, at Stedman's Mills, J- 
Chester, O. J 

Aug. 29, 1820. 
Order from M. Segrist, to Mr. Levi Stedman, Shade river, 
Let Thomas Haywalt have three galls, of Whiskey, in ex- 
change for Rye, to be delivered at the Ferry, and oblige. 
Yours Resp'y, ' 

Michael Segrist. 
Mason, Va. 

The deed of the land from Dinah Byram to Dorothy Sted- 
man and Joel Cowdery, executors of the will of Levi Stedman, 
deceased, executed and acknowledged before Randall Stivers, 

justice of the peace, signed Dinah -f- Byram, and recorded by 

Recorder of Meigs county, 1824. David Barber, Clerk. 

Receipts of money for diflferent purposes. 

A deed of ten acres of land from Josiah Vining to Dorothy 
Stedman to satisfy a judgment for eighteen dollars and sixty 
cents, with the costs accruing thereto. 

Recorded in Volume 2nd, page 80 and 81. Chas. Gardiner, 

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188 Pioneer History of Meigs County 

Gallia County. 

Gallipolis, December 31st, 1805. 
Received of Levi Stedman, Collector of taxes for Letart 
Township, the sum of Thirty Dollars and thirty-two cents i, 
on account of the County tax of this township, for the year 

Francies Le Clerq, Ex (torn out). 

Received of Levi Stedman $4.20 cts. for his tax on 420 acres 
of land — 12, Range 3, T. 24 S. Athens Co. for 1819. 

Isaac Barker, CoU'r. 

The Pilchard and Ellis families came from the eastern shore 
of Maryland to Ohio, about the year 1810, and settled in 
Letart, Ohio. Peter Pilchard's wife was a Miss Roloff. They 
had several children, Lewis, Lybrand and others. Lewis Pil- 
chard married Esther Hayman, a daughter of Josiah Hayman, 
and located in Letart Falls, W. Va. Lybrand Pilchard mar- 
ried and made his home in East Letart, and brought up a 
family. He was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, 
an active, loyal adherent to its usages, serving as steward, 
class leader or Sunday school superintendent, and brought up 
a highly respectable family. 

John Ellis, Sr., lived in Letart many years. He had two 
sons, John R. Ellis and Henry Ellis. John R. Ellis married 
Elizabeth Ford, and had a family of sons and daughters. 
Milton Ellis served in the war for the Union, and was pro- 
moted to the rank of major. William A. Ellis was a soldier, 
also, in the cavalry service, and won distinction for courage. 
Esther Ellis was married to Hiram L. Sibley, a soldier in the 
army, but was held a prisoner in the Libby prison, Richmond, 
Va., for several months. After the close of the war he opened 
a law office in Marietta, Ohio, and became distinguished for 
his legal talents. He served as circuit judge in this district, 

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Pioneer History of Meigs County 189 

and as a delegate to the General Conference of the Methodist 
Episcopal Church, in each capacity repeatedly. 

Regina Ellis remained ministering to the needs of her par- 
ents in their last years with filial devotion. John R. Ellis was 
elected as a county commissioner several terms, and was a 
Sunday school superintendent for more than forty years. Mrs. 
Elizabeth Ellis died in her ninety-eighth year. 

Henry Ellis married Adaline Johnson, daughter of an old 
resident of Chester township. They lived in Racine, Ohio; 
had two children, Jeremiah A. Ellis, who married and moved 
to Kansas. Mary E. Ellis was married to Dorr DeWolf, one 
of a family of steamboat men. Their home has been in Ra- 
cine. Mrs. Mary E. DeWolf is a loyal Methodist. 

Mr. Henry Ellis died in middle life, and Mrs. Adaline Ellis 
did not attain old age. They were good citizens, highly 
esteemed by the community. 

In the earlier days, the schoolboy's equipment was scant, 
made up chiefly by the mother's ingenuity, in co-operation 
with the father's desire to give some "book learning" to his 
children. Money was hard to obtain, and the necessities of 
life were secured by traffic. For writing purposes, an ink was 
made by an infusion of oak gall nuts, mixed with beef's gall 
and vinegar, in proportions learned by experiments. Another 
kind of ink in use was made from a decoction of maple bark, 
carefully poured off, and a lump of copperas and a little sugar 
added to the liquid. The sugar gave a gloss to the writing, 
and this ink was a good black, but if too much sugar was put 
in, the written pages would stick together. 

For schools and ordinary purposes, a thick, unruled paper, 
called foolscap, was in use, and the ruling was made with 
lead pencils cut off in strips from the lead of which bullets 
were made, and hammered into shape, flat and narrow, about 
three inches in length. These lead pencils were drawn across 
the paper by a straight-edged ferule. Pens were made from 

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190 Pioneer History of Meigs County 

quills taken from the wings of geese. The schoolmaster called 
the children into school by rapping loudly on the door — ^never 
had a bell. The sessions were from 8 or 9 o'clock a. m. to 4 
or 5 o'clock in the afternoon, six days in the week for a three 
months' term in winter. Some teachers had a watch, but, if 
lacking that, a good look at the sun was a common way of 
reckoning time. E. L. B. 

April 12th, 1819, the first Court of Common Pleas for Meigs 
county, on petition of Thomas Ridding, of Sutton, for a 
license to keep a house of entertainment in his dwelling house, 
it was ordered that license be given him on his complying with 
the requisitions of the law. Thomas Ridding had a license, 
previously granted, to keep a ferry at Graham's Station, Meigs 
county, Ohio. 

The hotel, as described by Mr. Ridding's daughter, "was a 
double log cabin — two log houses with a space of ten feet be- 
tween them, but all included under one roof — and having a 
spacious attic for common sleeping rooms. The patrons of 
this hostelry were men who carried on trade up and down the 
Ohio river in pirogues, or large canoes, laden with flour, salt 
and groceries, for sale to the people on shore, and who did a 
good business in exchanging commodities for skins, furs and 
ginseng. These boatmen would make their stopping place at 
night at the Ridding house at Graham's Station. Sometimes 
two or three boat crews would land at the same time. They 
were sure of a bountiful meal of substantial food, and when 
the beds were all filled, if necessary the landlady would make 
field beds on the floor. There was no grumbling at the lack of 
washbowl and pitcher, nor any scrambling for a looking-glass. 
They were glad to sleep after the hard day of poling canoes. 
This tavern had a sad closing up. Mr. Ridding was acci- 
dentally drowned, and his widow went back to her old home 
in the Shenandoah valley. Narrative by Mrs. Cynthia Phil- 
son, Racine, Ohio. 

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Pioneer History of Meigs County 191 

The first newspaper published in Meigs county was dated 
November 1st, 1843, called "The Weekly Times," edited and 
printed by L. Beatty. In a year or two the paper was edited 
by O. B. Chapman, with Mr. Beatty. In 1845 and 1846, R. T. 
Van Horn was associated with Mr. Chapman, and the name 
was changed to "The Meigs County Telegraph." Later, Mr. 
Van Horn withdrew, and the paper was under the manage- 
ment of T. A. Plants, Esq. The paper had a change of names 
and editors until 1860 — O. B. Chapman editor and E. S. Trus- 
sell business manager. Mr. Chapman was a good editor and 
practical printer, and no slovenly typesetting was ever seen 
while he was editor. He held the place longer than any one 
before or afterwards. Mr. E. S. Trussell succeeded Mr. Chap- 
man, and continued to publish a good, influential paper. Mr. 
O. B. Chapman finally, after many vicissitudes in fortune, died 
in Colorado Springs, at the advanced age of eighty years, a 
true, noble-hearted man, steadfast in his principles of right- 
eousness in civil or religious matters. 

The next paper was "The People's Fountain," a temperance 
paper, printed by Hoy and Rundle, in 1854. It failed after a 
few years for lack of patronage. The first paper printed in 
Middleport was "The Meigs County News," in 1871, by E. S. 
Branch. S. C. L. 

"The Buckeye Rovers." — An article in the Cincinnati En- 
quirer by Arthur B. Harding, and copied into this manuscript 
by S. C. Larkin : 

"The Buckeye Rovers crossed the continent to the Cali- 
fornia gold fields in 1849. There were twenty-two men in the 
party, from Athens and Meigs counties exclusively. From 
Athens county : Elza Armstrong, W. S. Stedman, Hugh Dick- 
son, Dennis Drake, Elijah Terrill, Solomon Townsend, James 
Shepherd, William Logan, W. T. Wilson, Joseph Dickson, M. 
D., R. P. Barnes, John Banks, George Reeves, Asa Condee, 
M. D., H. L. Graham. From Meigs county : Seth Paine, L. D. 

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192 Pioneer History of Meigs County 

Stevens, J. C. Rathburn, M. D., Joshua Gardner, Charles Giles, 
John S. Giles. Fifteen Athenians and seven Meigs countians. 
The party left Albany April 9th, 1849, and, going to Middle- 
port, Meigs county, embarked on a steamboat and, further on, 
by boats until reaching Lexington, Mo. Here they organized, 
choosing Dr. Joseph Dickson captain. Cattle were brought 
that never had seen a yoke, and a week was spent in breaking 
them. The party drove one hundred miles to St. Joseph, 
where, if they had waited to cross the ferry in their turn, they 
would have been delayed six weeks, so great was the rush 
westward. Luckily, some of them were old river men, and 
who constructed a rude craft, that carried them over the river 
in four days. They proceeded up the Platte river by Fort 
Kearney and Fort Laramie, and to the north of the Great Salt 
Lake, eighty miles. Cholera infested the plains at this time, 
and for more than a thousand miles west of Fort Kearney, if 
there had been no trail, they could easily have kept their 
course by the new made graves. They had many thrilling 
experiences and narrow escapes from the Indians. At the sink 
of the Humboldt river the Indians stole all of their cattle. 
Then the company disbanded, and each one had to get to Sac- 
ramento the best way he could. Judge Wilson fell in with an 
Illinois party going to Oregon, and he was the first white man 
at Downieville, on the Yuba river, where he subsequently took 
up the largest nugget any of them secured. It was about the 
size of a goose egg and was valued at $1285. On September 
20th, 1849, the first of the Buckeye Rovers reached Sacra- 
mento, then consisting of only one wooden structure and used 
for a postoffice. The tent population was about 5000, which 
increased as by magic, so that in less than one year it was 
estimated at 80,000 souls. When they reached the golden land, 
labor was worth $16 a day, but dropped to $10 the next sea- 
son. Provisions of all kinds were brought from the Sacra- 
mento valley on mules and sold at enormous prices. Every- 
thing sold by the pound, at $1, except butter, which was $4. 

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Pioneer History of Meigs County 193 

Once they paid $8 for a pound of soda to make slapjacks. 
Letters from the East cost 40 cents postage, and were usually 
a year in reaching their destination. A man at the diggings 
was employed as mail carrier. He took a list of the names of 
the miners and went to San Francisco, the nearest postoffice, 
200 miles distant. On reaching the office, he had to hunt the 
letters that were wanted from a large pile on the floor. They 
paid the mail carrier $2 for each letter carried or received. In 
the winter of *49 Condee and Wilson formed a partnership 
with two Illinois men, Burroughs and Barnes by name, for the 
purpose of prospecting on the Yuba river. There were no 
towns and no laws, but among themselves. They agreed that 
each miner was to have thirty feet on the river as his claim. 
After staking out four claims near Downieville, Barnes and 
Burroughs went farther up the mountains prospecting, leav- 
ing the others to guard the claims. The miners began to 
swarm in, and it was useless to try to hold the claims. "The 
upper two we thought were good," said Judge Wilson, "but 
the lower two we sold to a party of Georgians for $1000, and 
shortly afterwards I saw them take out between $40,000 and 
$50,000 worth of gold dust. My share in the upper claim T 
sold in a few weeks later for $2300." It was a common oc- 
currence for a miner to be worth $1000 one day and be as 
much in debt the next day from losses in gambling. There 
was not much stealing in the mining region, for among the 
miners, if a person was caught stealing anything to the amount 
of $1 or more the penalty was a severe whipping or death. 

The first of the Rovers that died was Dr. Joseph Dickson, 
who was accidentally shot by dropping his revolver while 
prospecting on the American river. Mr. Stedman spent eleven 
years in California. 

Judge Wilson served four years in the Civil War, and he 
says "the hardships endured were trifling in comparison with 
the overland trip to California in 1849." A few of the men 

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194 Pioneer History of Meigs County 

who went out with this expedition returned home with finan- 
cial gains, but the majority were not so fortunate. 

The Associate Judges of Meigs County, Ohio. 

Date of Election. Names of Judges. Terms. 

February 6th, 1819. . Fuller Elliott, M. D 2 years 

January 17th, 1821., George Bums 2 years 

"anuary 23d, 1823. . Peter Grow 4 years 

anuary, 1827 Henry L. Osborn, appointed to fill one 

year for Grow 1 year 

January 25th, 1828. . Nial Nye 7 years 

January 25th, 1835. . Henry L. Osborn 7 years 

February 17th, 1842. William Ledlie 7 years 

March 17th, 1849. . . William McAboy 3 years 

Total 33 years 

February 6th, 1819. . Orasho (Horatio) Strong 5 years 

January, 1^ Gushing Shaw 7 years 

January 22d, 1831. . . Eli Sigler 7 years 

February 10th, 1838. Nathan Simpson 6 years 

February 28th, 1844. Samuel Bradbury 7 years 

February 17th, 1851. Samuel Bradbury 1 year 

Total 33 years 

February 6th, 1819. . James E. Phelps 3 years 

In 1822 Abel Larkin, appointed to fill one year 

for J. E. Phelns 1 year 

January 23d, 1823. . Abel Larkin 7 years 

February 22d, 1830. John C. Bestow 7 years 

February 16th, 1837. John C. Bestow 7 years 

1844, 1851 Henry L. Osborn 7 years 

Total 33 years 

Lists furnished by Mr. Charles Matthews, Washington, 
D. C: 

Names of all persons in 1820 in Salisbury township, from 
Census Report. — ^Joseph Bradford, David Bradford, Charles 
Wright, William T. Whitney, David Lindsey, Joel Smith, 
Benjamin Smith, Frederic Frazier, Josiah Vining, Piaris Ec- 
cleston, Perry Hardin, Alvin Rathbum, Sarah Bullock, Ben- 
jamin Williams, David Osork, Daniel Rathbum, Cyrus Hig- 

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Pioneer History of Meigs County 196 

ley, Archibald Murray, George Russell, Daniel McNaughton, 
Joel Higley, John Winkley, Samuel Risley, Samuel L. Wilder, 
Charles Jones, Frederic Hysell, Isaac Meeker, Timothy Smith, 
Erastus Saus, Robert B. Harris, Isa Russell, Joseph Vining, 
Increase Jones, James Smith, Edward Hysell, Caleb Austin, 
William Kerr, John Wc^ward, Strother Hysell, John Smith. 

Names of all persons living in Rutland township and Salis- 
bury township in 1820. — George Russell, Benson Jones, Abel 
Larkin, Silas Clark, James McGuire, William Hobart, Joshua 
Parker, Ebenezer Howard, Samuel Vining, John Knight, Cor- 
nelius Bradshaw, Amos Partlow, John Baily, Jeptha Mason, 
Benjamin Frost, David Bailey, Samuel Gilman, Isaac Hugg, 
Samuel Gilman, Jr., Elias Grigsby, Joseph Saxton, Eli Wright, 
Robert Hysell, Samuel Lyman, Richard Vining, John Lynas, 
Elam Higley, Daniel Rathburn, Jr., Alvin Bingham, James E. 
Phelps, Philip Jones, Samuel Everett, Hamilton Kerr, Benja- 
min T. Clough, William Dodson, William Baily, John Kin- 
dall, George Knapp, Nathanael Bean, Lariah Norris, Isaac 
Smith, Jans Bingham, Silas Knight, John Hysell, Brewster 

Salem township, 1820. — ^William Parker, Peter Aleshire, 
John S. Giles, Gushing Shaw, Ozias Strong, Jacob Swett, John 
Williams, Jame McClure, William Green, L. V. Vonschritz, 
John Fordice, Eleazer Crowell, Mark Malone, Chauncey 
Knowlton, Sampson Nelson. 


[Condensed from a report in the Tclcgraph.l 

May 12th, at 11 o'clock p. m. two dark clouds were seen 
approaching each other from opposite points of the north and 
of the south. They met, and the roar of the concussion was 
terrific. The clouds commingled and seemed to fall to the 
earth, moving with electric speed and resistless fury. The 
first house struck was a log building occupied by J. Q. Adams 

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196 Pioneer History of Meigs County 

and his family of seven persons. The house was demolished, 
but the inmates escaped injury. Next in the course of the 
storm were the barn and sheep houses of Mr. Gregory ; then a 
school house ; on, tearing off the upper story of the dwelling 
of E. Foster; then more barns, until it narrowed down to a 
track of not more than 300 yards in width, keeping near the 
ground. A new house of Nathan Vail was badly shaken ; an- 
other house torn down. The upper story of T. D. Jackson's 
house, with a large stone chimney, was tumbled over the 
inmates in bed ; one person injured ; his barn blown to pieces ; 
two horses and eighteen sheep were killed. The home of S. 
D. Wilcox was wrecked, and the furious storm went on, flat- 
tening shrubbery, sweeping away fences, twisting oak trees 
like wisps around each other. Then it reached the house of 
Mrs. McComas, who, with her granddaughter of ten years, 
was sleeping in one room, while in another room was a grand- 
son twenty years old. Everything was swept from its place ; 
the house, granaries, all were wrecked. The married son, who 
lived near, ran to the place as soon as possible ; first found the 
little girl, apparently lifeless, but who was resuscitated. The 
old lady was found fifty yards to the south, stripped of cloth- 
ing and dead. The young man lay in another direction, with 
broken neck and legs. 

Many sheep were killed. A fine orchard of J. L. Carpenter 
was prostrated. The depot of the K. & M. Railroad was cut 
in two, dividing it from the roof to the ground, and carried 
eastward. A frame dwelling of Mr. McKnight was torn 
away. The father, mother and daughter, having heard the 
storm coming, threw themselves flat on the floor, face down- 
wards, and the house was borne away from over their heads, 
the wind catching: them up and pitching them with great force 
on the ground. Mrs. McKnight had two ribs broken, and Mr. 
McKnight was badly bruised, but they succeeded with great 
difficulty in reaching the house of Dr. Dudgeon, a neighbor 
who, fortunately, h^d escaped the hurricane. A cloudburst of 

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Pioneer History of Meigs County 197 

rain followed immediately, that prevented contiagration, as 
the air was charged with electricity. Mr. Jewell s Dlacksmitn 
snop was cleared ol all its fixtures, in leaving the ground, tae 
wind retained its strength, tor a lot of standing timber had tne 
tops cut olt at an angle ot thirty degrees irom tne base until 
"out of the woods." ibe storm lasted about two hours, but 
the havoc was the work of a few minutes. A memorable event 
lor Columbia township. 

In 1817 four young men from Kentucky, evidently of 
wealthy parentage, well dressed, with nice boots, traveling on 
foot to see the country in Ohio, being weary and footsore, 
stopped a few days at Judge Larkin's to recuperate. One day, 
near sunset, the judge came in from his work to have a little 
talk. They said to him: **You have no slaves in Ohio. We 
should think it very wearisome to do all your own work. And 
then it deprives you of an opportunity to acquire knowledge. 
We have slaves to do our work. Then we can go to town, or 
any place to talk, and hear all the news, and so acquire in- 
formation." They were told "that those who had the best 
chance did not always get the most knowledge." One of the 
number, in order to change the subject, asked Judge Larkin, 
"Where did you come from?*' He replied, "From New Eng- 
land." They said, "New England must be a big state, we find 
so many that come from that state." They were informed 
New England was not a state, but was composed of five 
states. "Did you never hear of the State of Massachusetts, 
New Hampshire, Vermont or Connecticut?" They were hard 
to convince, but finally said they thought they were towns or 

Soon after the organization of the county of Meigs a com- 
pany of prominent citizens of Athens purchased lands of the 
Ohio Company's Purchase, situated as river bottom farms, 
above Old Town creek, and farther above the Hall property 

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198 Pioneer HistORY of Meigs CouNtv 

on the Ohio river border. The lands were heavily timbered. 
Mr. Ziba Lindley, Sr., Ziba Lindley, Jr., Elnius Lindley, Col. 
Charles Shipman and Nehemiah Bicknell, who had his home 
with the Shipman family. Col. Shipman built a two-story 
hewed-log house, well finished, in which he had a storeroom 
for general merchandise. Mr. Ziba Lindley, Sr., put up a 
house of logs, hewn on the inner side, with floors, doors, win- 
dows and partitions done by a regular "house joiner." Ziba 
Lindley, Jr., erected a two-story hewed-log house, well fin- 
ished as to floors, doors, windows and bedroom partitions, a 
stone chimney, with open fireplaces to each story. Elmus 
Lindley had the farm adjoining his brother Ziba's and built a 
smaller house. Mr. Bicknell bought his farm later, where he 
built a hewed-log house, one and a half stories high, with inner 
house-joiner finishings and stone chimney. The lumber for 
all of these buildings was brought from Wright's mill on Mill 
creek, Virginia. There was an old cabin on the back part of 
the Shipman farm that was taken for a schoolhouse, and Miss 
Harriet Bartlett taught school there in the summer. Colonel 
Shipman conducted religious services there, reading the Scrip- 
tures and a sermon on Sundays, and on Sunday afternoons 
sometimes they met to sing. There were good singers in the 
Athens company, and when they met with their note books — 
patent notes — to sing "Easter Anthem" and "carry all the 
parts" to time as correct as a military drill, it was quite in- 
spiring. But the native population did not assimilate. They 
preferred the fiddle and such dances as suited their ideas of 

The Athens people became discouraged. The elder Mrs. 
Lindley died and was buried in the pioneer graveyard, and the 
other families gathered up their children and household goods 
and moved back to Athens, leaving N. Bicknell agent for all 
of their farms to rent or sell, as he might have opportunity. In 
the meanwhile he had married Julia Larkin, of Rutland, and 
had no alternative but to remain and open up his own farm 

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Pioneer HistoRY of Meigs Couniy 19d 

for cultivation, doing a vast amount of hard work. He spoke 
often of his disappointment in the abandonment of the neigh-^ 
borhood by the Lindleys and Shipmans^ as he had anticipated 
their good influences to bring about a better social environ- 

The name of George Ackley is on the record of deeds for 
land purchased by him in 1800, in a part of Washington 
county, afterwards included in Meigs county, thus giving the 
name of a pioneer family. Jeremiah B. Ackley came to Letart 
about 1831, a young doctor. He had spent some time at the 
Ohio University at Athe;^s,»Q., and had prosecuted his studies 
there as a physician. 7^e^located his office at Letart, O., but 
also practiced medicine in Jackson county, Va. He had an 
extensive practice on both sides of the river. He married a 
daughter of Mr. Wright, of Mill Creek, Va., Miss Charlotte 
Wright, and made their home in Letart. 

They had several children:, all of whom died in childhood 
except one son, George K. Ackley, who lived to follow the 
profession of his father, and was especially noted as a surgeon. 
He served as army surgeon in the Fourth West Virginia 
Infantry in the Civil War. Mrs. Charlotte Ackley died in 
1838 or 1839. 

Dr. J. B. Ackley then entered the arena of politics, and rep- 
resented Meigs county in the Ohio Legislature, serving one 
or two terms with fidelity to his constituents and credit to 
himself. He was a natural orator, and held county audiences 
in rapt attention while pleading the cause of temperance dur- 
ing the Washingtonian movement. His second wife was 
Miss Miriam Smith, of Letart. They had one daughter, Kate, 
a lovely child, who died at the age of six years. Dr. Ackley 
had moved to Racine, and resumed the practice of medicine, 
chiefly among the older families. Mrs. Miriam Ackley died in . 
the seventies. In a few years he married Miss Sarah Woods, 
of Racine, a happy alliance. She lived to make his last years 

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SOO Pioneer History of Meigs CouNtY 

comfortable with faithful care. He passed away, leaving the 
record of a useful and honorable Ufe. 

Dr. John R. Philson came from Maryland in 1839, and set- 
tled in Racine, Ohio, where in 1841 he married Miss Cynthia 
Redding, a daughter of Thomas Redding, who kept the pio- 
neer hotel in Graham Station in 1824. Mrs. Redding married 
as second husband Jacob Lalance, and their home was made 
in Sutton township, below Racine, on the river. 

Dr. J. R. Philson was associated with Dr. J. B. Ackley for 
a while, but subsequently opened up a practice as physician 
independently. He was in a scope of territory the principal 
doctor, and won distinction for his skill in the treatment of 
diseases. He was an army surgeon in the Fourth West Vir- 
ginia, through the war, and while in the service received in- 
juries that resulted in his death. Dr. Philson was elected 
Senator for the Sixteenth Congressional District of Ohio, and 
filled the position with fidelity to his constituents and honor 
to himself. His death was lamented by the community at 
large, by his many friends, and especially the poor, whom he 
had treated gratuitously. 

He left a widow, two sons and one daughter. The eldest 
son. Professor Lewis Philson, has been devoted to educa- 
tional work as teacher and superintendent. 

The second son, John Rush Philson, followed his father's 
profession and has a well-earned popularity as a doctor. A 
son of Professor Lewis Philson is also a doctor, making three 
generations in the medical fraternity. 

The daughter, Margaret E. Philson, was married to Charles 
McElroy soon after the Civil War. He was a soldier in 
some sharp engagements, inducing a loss of vital force that 
caused an early death. 

The elder Mrs. Philson is living, a marvel of clear mind and 
memory, and Mrs. McElroy is the faithful daughter and 
Christian woman. 

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Pioneer History of Meigs County 201 

Dr. John McClintock came to Letart, Ohio, from Philadel- 
phia, and opened an oflSce as a regular physician in 1839. He 
married Nancy Kingree, daughter of Abraham Kingree, of 
Letart, an old pioneer in 1841. 

They had one son, George M. McClintock, who became a 
prominent and successful business man, but died in his man- 
hood's prime, honored and lamented. 

Dr. McClintock made his permanent home on a farm at 
Apple Grove, and followed his profession continuously for 
more than forty years, chiefly in Letart township, a wise and 
skillful doctor. Dr. McClintock was a man of culture and 
refinement, quiet, yet genial in manner, a good judge of char- 
acter. He died leaving a widow and son. His life com- 
manded respect, and his name is an honored memory. 


Isaac Reynolds was born in the State of New York and, 
with his parents, emigrated to Ohio and settled in Athens 
county in early days. He was a student in the Ohio Univer- 
sity for some time, and while attending school was converted 
under the preaching of the Rev. John Stewart, a noted minis- 
ter of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Soon after his con- 
version he began to preach. 

In 1817, Mr. Reynolds traveled Burlington circuit. Rev. 
Jacob Young, presiding elder. There was an element of evan- 
gelistic fervor in his preaching, and among the converts of his 
ministry was James Gilruth, who became a Methodist 
preacher of great power and influence, long an active member 
of the Ohio Conference. 

After traveling circuits a few years, he married Miss Maria 
Williamson, of Washington county, and located. He had a 
difficulty of the throat that caused him to cease itinerant work. 

About 1830 he came to Letart, not certain as to precise date. 
He taught school and preached occasionally. As a teacher 

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202 PioNEiER History of Meigs County 

he was popular. He moved to Lebanon township in 1833» 
and taught the public school several years. After giving up 
teaching he settled on his farm and opened a small store, and 
succeeded in establishing a postoffice, called Great Bend, he 
being appointed postmaster. Mr. Reynolds finally moved to 
northern California, preaching sometimes until 1876, where 
he soon "fell on sleep" his work done. 


Lucius Cross was born December 30th, 1798, in Mansfield, 
Connecticut. When he was three years old He was brought 
to Marietta, Ohio, where he grew up to manhood. He mar- 
ried Thirza Stanley, (daughter of Timothy Stanley, a promi- 
nent citizen of Washington county, in April, 1822, and came 
directly to Meigs county, settling on lands back of Racine, in 
Sutton township. He cleped his laiid for cultivation, built a 
tannery on his farm, ejected a saw and grist mill on Bowman's 
run, built flatboats on the river Jbea^h at Graham's Station, as 
it was then called, had his timber all utilized for lumber, cord - 
wood or tanbark. He opened a trade in the South with boats 
laden with pressed hay and farm products, and by his different 
industries gave employment to many men. In 1832 he built 
his large, commodious farm house. Mr. Cross was a real 
temperance man, and suffered no whisky to be brought to his 
premises, and his farm house has the record of being the first 
building erected in Meigs county without whisky or any in- 
toxicating drink. The house was noted for its beauty in 
construction and situation, considered the best house in the 
country as a farmer's home. He had some military knowledge 
and drilled recruits for the army. He left a valuable estate, a 
widow and nine sons and daughters. He was entirely blind 
a few years before his death in August, 1883. The sons have 
been enterprising men, and all of the family married and set- 
tled in Racine and vicinity, except the younger son, Edwin 

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Pioneer History of Meigs County 203 

Cross, who became a physician and followed his profession in 
Chicago with notable success. 


Thomas Alexander, who entered land in Letart township in 
1803, died in 1808, aged 80 years. His wife, Elizabeth, died 
in 1807, aged 77 years. William Alexander, son of Thomas 
Alexander, lived on the farm purchased by his father, and 
married Susan Love. They had a family of two sons and 
three daughters. 

Thomas Alexander married Caroline Burns, and their home 
was on the Alexander farm, where they lived to a great age, 
having had a family of eleven children, grown up and married. 
Moses Alexander married Jane Smith, and died early, leaving 
a wife and four children. His family lived in the Alexander 

The daughters were : Julia, who was married to David O. 
Hopkins, and whose home was in Racine, Ohio, where she 
died. They had several children grown to maturity, but par- 
ents and children are all dead but one daughter, Mrs. Reese, 
of Chicago. Mary Alexander was the wife of Albert Wood- 
ruff, of Mill Creek. She passed away soon, leaving one daugh- 
ter. Isabel Alexander was married to Daniel Bibbee, of 
Letart, and died in a few years, leaving a daughter. 

William Alexander, Sr., was one of the first Commissioners 
in Meigs, and held that office by re-election several terms. 
He was prominent in local affairs, magistrate, merchant and 
farmer. He erected the first stone house in Letart, noted in 
those days for elegance, the "mansion house" of Letart. He 
died in 1877, and his wife Susan died in 1860. 

Dr. David C, Whaley same to Meigs county with his par- 
ents in 1832, and has been a resident of Meigs county ever 
since. He opened the first dentist's office in Pomeroy, and 
has followed his profession continuously for more than fifty 

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204 Pioneer History of Meigs County 

years. Possessed of a fine mind and rare mechanical abilities, 
he acquainted himself with every scientific method available 
for the perfecting of his skill in dentistry, for besides the set- 
ting of teeth, Dr. Whaley is an artist in studying facial effects, 
as well as the inserting of molars. He has had also a suc- 
cessful medical practice, limited in extent on account of his 
proclivities for dental operations. 

He married Miss Amy Smith, a daughter of Benjamin Smith, 
of Middleport, Ohio, who is a direct descendant in the fourth 
generation from the pioneer James Smith who came to Lead- 
ing Creek in 1797. They had a family of three children, one 
son and two daughters. The son, a bright young man, was 
drowned just as his career was opening as a dentist. The 
daughters were well educated, and each one has a vocation 
The elder Miss Whaley is a talented literary woman, and the 
younger sister is a popular singer in operatic circles, is mar- 
ried and resides in New York City. 


Seth Paine, Sr., came with his family to Ohio from Maine in 
1816, and settled in Rutland township. He had four sons, 
Samuel S. Paine, Bartlett, Seth, Jr., Josiah, and several daugh- 
ters. The brothers were engaged in the mercantile business 
in Rutland. Mr. Samuel S. Paine held township offices, as 
Justice of the Peace, Trustee, and was Postmaster in Rutland. 
He was elected Recorder of Meigs county when the county 
seat was removed to Pomeroy, and served in that office for 
more than twenty years. 

He married Miss Martha Cowdery, a daughter of the pioneer 
Joel Cowdery, who settled on Shade river in 1807. They had 
two children, a daughter, dying in childhood, and a son, Lewis 
Paine, who was educated at Kenyon College, Gambler, Ohio. 
He is a lawyer, has been Probate Judge, and practices his pro- 
fession in Pomeroy. Mrs. Martha Paine died in 1889, and 
Mr. Samuel S. Paine died in 1892, both highly esteemed people. 

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Pioneer History of Meigs County 205 

Mr. Bartlett Paine was married twice and had three chil- 
dren, two sons and one daughter. Mr. Seth Paine, 3d, Jr., an 
expert bookkeeper in Columbus, Ohio, and Dr. Bartlett L. 
Paine, a noted doctor in Lincoln, Nebraska. 

The second wife was Mrs. Aurelia Branch, a widow. Seth 
Paine, 2d, was one of the "Buckeye Rovers," who went to 
California in 1849. He was fortunate in business and returned 
to Rutland a rich man. He married Miss Roxana Rathburn, a 
daughter of Rev. Elisha Rathburn, a pioneer. The Paine 
brothers are dead. They were good citizens, enterprising, 
sterling characters. 

Stillman Carter Larkin was born, March 9th, 1808, in Rut- 
land, Ohio, the son of Abel Larkin and Susannah Larkin (nee 
Bidges), they having moved from Rutland, Vermont, to Ohio 
in 1804. His childhood, youth, manhood and old age were all 
spent in Rutland, Ohio. He was a self-educated man, with a 
philosophical cast of mind, with a clear apprehension of public 
affairs, and a careful student of political events. A member of 
the Christian church the greater part of his life, he left the 
record of a faithful disciple in the performance of religious 
duties, and the example of an unblemished character. When 
his father died, his widowed mother chose to remain in the 
homestead, and this son to take charge of the estate, and to be 
her protector. This duty he fulfilled with filial tenderness and 
unremitting care, thus holding the Larkin homestead in his 
name for a long period of years, and, though married most 
happily, they had no children. So, when years and infirmities 
of age were felt, he transferred the "Larkin homestead" — 
which has now possessed the name for one hundred years — to 
his nephew, George B. Larkin. 

Stillman C. Larkin died January 17th, 1899, aged nearly 
ninety-one years. Mary Larkin, his widow, died May 30th, 
1904, in her ninety-second year of age. 

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Introduction 3-7 

Declaration of Independence in 1776 9-13 

The Ordinance of 1787 14-16 

Ohio Company's Purchase '. 17 

Meigs County Formed in 1819 17, 18 

Census Report for Letart, Lebanon and Sutton Townships, for 1820 18-20 v 

Township Boundaries 21, 22 

Elections, for Governor 24 

Road Tax 24 

Rutland Township Organized in 1812 25 

Brewster Higley and Family 27-29 

Joel Higley and Family 29-31 

Hamilton Kerr and Col. John Niswonger 32, 33 

The Warth Family 33, 34 

Felix Benedict, Jabez Benedict 35, 36 

Jeremiah Riggs and Family 37 

John Miles and Family 37-39 

Captain James Merrill 39 

William Parker, Sr., and Family 40, 41 

Aleshire Brothers 41 

Thomas Shepherd 42 

Caleb Gardner 43 

Daniel Rathburn 44, 45 

The Hunters — ^John and George Warth 45-49 

Abel Larkin and Family 49-54 

Allen Ogden and Descendants 54-5rf 

Shubael Nobles 56, 57 

William Parker, 2d, and Family 57-59 

A Gang of Indians 59, 60 

Pioneer Association 60-63 

Sketch of Early History, by Luther Hecox 63-66 

Alexander Stedman of Athens County 66 

Long Bottom, by J. H. Stewart 67, 68 

Dr. Philip Lauck and Rev. Ezra Grover 68, 69 

The Scotch Colony at Sterling Bottom 69 

The Pictured Rocks at Antiquity. Silas Jones 69, 70 

Dr. Fuller Elliot 71, 72 

James Smith, Sr 72, 73 

Erastus Stow 73 

Luke Brine 74 

Thomas Gaston 74 

Frederic Hysell 75, 76 ^ 

Joshua Johnson 76 

Leonard Hedrick 77 

Aaron Holt 77 

Weaver's Reeds 78, 79 

Peter Lalance, Sr 79, 80 

John V, Lasher 81 


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Index 207 


Stow and the Wolves 81 

A Brave Boy 82 

First G>urt of G>mmon Pleas in Meig^ G>untjt. 83-87 

Meeting of Commissioners, April 30, 1819 87-91 

Tax Laws 91 92 

Mrs. Dolly Knight's Paper. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .......!..!!.!!!!! 92^ 93 

Meager Accounts of Early Settlers 93 

George W. Cooper 94 

Major John White 94 

Samuel Ervin 95 

Letter to Teacher and Scholars of Pleasant Valley 96-99 

Original Forest of Rutland Township 99-101 

Time of Do^ood Blossoming 101, 102 

Samuel Halhday 103 

The Windstorm of 1826 104 

Schools and School-houses 105, 106 

Joel Lowther, the Centenarian 107 

The Grant and Knight Families 108-111 

Pioneer Meeting at Middleport in August, 1882 Ill, 112 

Col. David Barber, Ex-Treasurer of Meigs County — A Guest 113 

The "Warth Family." Mr. Silas Jones 114 

Plea for the Pioneer Graveyard 115 

1883. Tombstone for Mr. George Warth, the Indian Scout, and 

Mail Carrier 115 

Flax 115, 116 

Clocks, Cranes 117 

Mills 118 

Joseph D. Plummer 119 

Josiah Simpson, Sr , 120 

Robert Simpson, Sr. 121 

John Newell and Descendants 122, 123 

Rev. Eli Stedman and Family 123, 124 

Captain Jesse Hubbell. Seneca Haight 124, 125 

Stephen Titus and Mrs. Margarhetta N. Titus 125 

Melzar Nye an'd Lewis and Ebenezer Nye 126 

Cattle Diseases 127 

Cicada, 6r Seventeen Year Locust 127 

Wild Turkeys, Wild Geese, Owls and Hawks 128, 129 

Bees, Ingenious Contrivances for Work 130 

Salt 131-135 

Joseph Vining, Elijah Jones 135, 136 

Asahel Skinner and Descendants 136, 137 

Joseph Giles, John Sylvester, Lemuel Powell, Aaron Torrence 138 

Whittemore Reed and Family 138, 139 

Samuel Downing and Descendants 139, 140 

Aaron Thompson, Pleney Wheeler 141 

Alexander Von Schritz, Joseph Townsend 142 

John McClenahan 142 

Stephen Smith and Family 143 

Jesse Page, William Stevens, John Bing 144 

Robert Bradford 144 

Joshua Gardner 145, 146 

Timothy Smith 147, 148 

John S. Giles' Account of the Rescue of Adams Smith from Jail . . 149-153 

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208 Index 


William Church and Family 154 

Randall Stivers , 155 > 

Aaron Stivers , 156 

Adam Harpold ; . . 157, 158 

Henry Roush, 1st, and Henry Roush, 2d 159 

George Washington Putnam, by Charles Matthews 160, 161 

Livingston Smith 162 

William Johnson t 163 

John Entsminger 163, 164 

George Wolfe 165 

Regular Baptist Church 166 

Rutland Cemetery 166 

John Hayman and Descendants 167, 168 

John Wagner, George Burns 169 

Obadiah Walker, Sr 170 

Doctor Fenn Robinson 170, 171 

John Hall and Descendants 171 

Th-e Sayres. Hon. Edgar Evin 172 

The "Keg Company" 173 

Dr. David Gardner 173 

Edward Weldon and Family 174 

Meteoric Shower. Flood of 1832 of the Ohio River 175 

The Cholera in Chester in 1834, by Mrs. D. Knight 176-178 

Cholera in Middleport in 1849 178 

Arthur Merril, Frederic Merrill 179 

Samuel Pomeroy 179 

Mr. V. B. Horton and Family 180 

Martin Heckard — ^Judge 180 

Jacob Rice, Ira McCumber 181 

Fugitive Slave Case 181 

James Petty, Lucinda Smith, nee Dunham 182 

Mrs. Josiah Simpson, nee Dawson 183 

The Bradbury Family, by Samuel Bradbury, Esq 183 

Simeon Elliott and Family 184 

Rev. Samuel Branch 184 

Papers from the Levi Stedman*s Documents 185-188 

The Pilchard and Ellis Families 188, 189 

Scholars Equipments 189 

Pioneer Hotel 190 

First Newspapers Printed in Meigs County 191 

"The Buckeye Rovers" 191-193 

Associate Judges of Meigs County 194 

Census List, in 1820, of Rutland, Salisbury and Salem Townships. 195 

Cyclone in Columbia Township in 1886 196 

The Young Kentuckians 197 

The Athens Colony 198 

The Ackleys 199 

Dr. John R. Piison, Sr. Dr. John McClintock. 200, 201 

Rev. Isaac Reynolds 201 

Mr. Lucius Cross 202 

The Alexanders , . 203 

Dr. David C. Whaley. The Paine Family y. . . 204, 205 

Obituary of S. Z. Larkin. ..,,,.,,,,,.,,.,,,,,,.,.,.,,.,,., ^, , , 205 


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DEC 5 19S7 


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